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The use of video support for infant feeding after hospital discharge: a study in remote and rural Scotland

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This study assesses the feasibility and acceptability of future infant feeding video support after hospital discharge, and investigates general views on the potential of other communication technology in a remote and rural area of Scotland. Mixed survey and qualitative methods were used. A consecutive sample of 403 women were given a questionnaire at discharge from post-natal wards and 91 responded. From the respondents, 20 volunteers were purposively selected for in-depth semi-structured telephone interviews 6–8 weeks after birth. Results demonstrated that two-thirds of survey respondents had access to video communication technology, and 86% supported the availability of an infant feeding video link to the National Health Service, dependent on reassurance that it would be timely, maintain continuity of care and be available from home any time of day or night. However, less than 25% of the survey respondents stated that they would definitely or probably use video via mobile or Internet for advice on breastfeeding problems. When provided with four common post-natal scenarios, the majority preferred face-to-face, followed by telephone support. Rural respondents had reservations about the potential impact of video support on existing face-to-face services, and concerns were raised about ensuring privacy and security. There was no evidence to suggest that support for video link varied depending upon feeding method or experience. No single technology solution suited all women; therefore, any innovations should take account of difference in preference and be multifaceted in terms of encompassing a range of means of communication.
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Keywords: breastfeeding; communication; infant and child nutrition; infant feeding; post-natal care; support

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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