Public health nutrition 2017 02 08() 1-10 doi 10.1017/S1368980016003657
Exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) provides optimal nutrition for infants and mothers. The practice of EBF while adhering to antiretroviral medication decreases the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV from approximately 25 % to less than 5 %. Thus the WHO recommends EBF for the first 6 months among HIV-infected women living in resource-limited settings; however, EBF rates remain low. In the present study our aim was to design and implement a pilot intervention promoting EBF among HIV-infected women.
The Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills (IMB) model was applied in a brief motivational interviewing counselling session that was tested in a small randomized controlled trial.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, at two comparable rural public health service clinics.
Sixty-eight HIV-infected women in their third trimester were enrolled and completed baseline interviews between June and August 2014. Those randomized to the intervention arm received the IMB-based pilot intervention directly following baseline interviews. Follow-up interviews occurred at 6 weeks postpartum.
While not significantly different between trial arms, high rates of intention and practice of EBF at 6-week follow-up were reported. Findings showed high levels of self-efficacy being significantly predictive of breast-feeding initiation and duration regardless of intervention arm.
Future research must account for breast-feeding self-efficacy on sustaining breast-feeding behaviour and leverage strategies to enhance self-efficacy in supportive interventions. Supporting breast-feeding behaviour through programmes that include both individual-level and multi-systems components targeting the role of health-care providers, family and community may create environments that value and support EBF behaviour.