Mothers' knowledge of the risk factors and anxiety about SIDS

J Paediatr Child Health. 1996 Aug;32(4):310-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1996.tb02560.x.


Objective: To assess the impact on mothers' knowledge and anxiety of the 1991-92 health promotion campaign on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) risk factors.

Methodology: A telephone survey of a population based sample of 339 mothers in Victoria, Australia, conducted 1992-94.

Results: Recall by mothers of the risk factors for SIDS was as follows: not breast-feeding, 15%; smoking, 46%; overheating, 48%; and prone sleeping, 84%. Recall rate increased as the campaign progressed. Receiving the campaign pamphlet was associated with an increased recall of all risk factors. Discussion of the pamphlet with a health professional was rare (9%). One-third of all mothers reported being very worried about cot death when caring for their babies. Self-reported worry was significantly more common among mothers whose babies were born at the time of the campaign introduction.

Conclusions: The campaign pamphlets were effective in increasing knowledge of the risk factors. The limited discussion with health professionals suggests that future campaigns need increased professional involvement to address problems, including anxiety among new mothers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / education*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Pamphlets
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires