Are the doctors of the future ready to support breastfeeding? A cross-sectional study in the UK

Title: Are the doctors of the future ready to support breastfeeding? A cross-sectional study in the UK
Authors: Biggs, KV
Fidler, KJ
Shenker, NS
Brown, H
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background Currently there is no published data on the inclusion of breastfeeding education within the UK medical school curriculum. This study aims to address this knowledge gap and explore students’ perceptions of their readiness to support breastfeeding. Methods An online survey was used to collect data from 32 UK undergraduate medical schools and their students. All students in their final two years of study at the 30 universities offering a 5- or 6-year medicine course, were eligible. Results Curriculum data was obtained from 26 (81%) institutions. Compulsory breastfeeding education was provided by 85% (N = 22) institutions with 81% (n = 21) providing lecture-based teaching and 19% (n = 5) offering formal clinical education. Overall, 411 students from 22 institutions participated. A moderate ability to identify the benefits of breastfeeding was observed; however, self-rated confidence in practical skills was poor. Assisting with latching was the least confident skill, with confidence in only 3% (14/411) students. Most students (93%) viewed doctors as playing an important role in breastfeeding, with those interested in either women’s health, paediatrics or general practice perceiving the role of doctors as more important. Overall, 93% (381/411) students requested further breastfeeding education. Conclusions This study suggests UK medical schools are not adequately preparing students to support breastfeeding patients. Further studies should explore the competency of doctors to meet the needs of lactating women, and design optimal training for UK medical students.
Issue Date: 20-May-2020
Date of Acceptance: 11-May-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/82325
DOI: 10.1186/s13006-020-00290-z
ISSN: 1746-4358
Publisher: BioMed Central
Start Page: 1
End Page: 8
Journal / Book Title: International Breastfeeding Journal
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Sponsor/Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC)
Funder's Grant Number: MR/S017437/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Pediatrics
Medical education
Breastfeeding
Clinical skills
Medical training
GENERAL-PRACTITIONERS
MEDICAL-EDUCATION
CURRICULUM
KNOWLEDGE
STUDENTS
ATTITUDES
BELIEFS
MILK
Breastfeeding
Clinical skills
Medical education
Medical training
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Pediatrics
Medical education
Breastfeeding
Clinical skills
Medical training
GENERAL-PRACTITIONERS
MEDICAL-EDUCATION
CURRICULUM
KNOWLEDGE
STUDENTS
ATTITUDES
BELIEFS
MILK
Pediatrics
1110 Nursing
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 46
Online Publication Date: 2020-05-20
Appears in Collections:Department of Surgery and Cancer



This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons