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Acceptability and Feasibility of a Breast Milk Expression Education and Support Intervention in Mothers of Preterm Infants

Héon, Marjolaine RN, PhD; Goulet, Céline RN, PhD; Garofalo, Carole DEC; Nuyt, Anne Monique MD; Levy, Emile MD, PhD

Section Editor(s): Dowling, Donna

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000113
Original Research
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PURPOSE: A pilot study was conducted to assess the acceptability and feasibility of a breast milk expression education and support intervention in mothers of preterm infants and study procedures.

SUBJECTS: Forty mothers of preterm infants born at less than 30 weeks of gestation.

DESIGN: Pilot randomized controlled trial.

METHODS: Mothers of preterm infants were randomly allocated to the breast milk expression education and support intervention or standard care. The experimental intervention encompassed a breast milk expression education session on 7 themes, telephone follow-up, and telephone helpline.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data related to the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention and study procedures were collected throughout the study. At the end of the study, mothers allocated to the experimental intervention completed a self-report questionnaire assessing the acceptability of each of the intervention components.

RESULTS: It was feasible to recruit 70% of eligible mothers and retain 83% of mothers who consented to participate in the study. Mothers reported that all the intervention components were appropriate and effective in supporting their breast milk production. Although the reliability of the data collection method was demonstrated, the fidelity of the telephone follow-up faced some challenges.

CONCLUSIONS: Both the intervention and study procedures were acceptable and feasible. Improvements related to the fidelity of the intervention would ensure the feasibility and internal validity of a larger-scale trial.

Faculté des sciences infirmières, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada (Drs Héon and Goulet); Quebec Nursing Intervention Research Network, Montréal, Canada (Dr Héon); Faculté de biologie et de médecine, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland (Dr Goulet); Research Centre, CHU Sainte-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada (Ms Garofalo and Drs Nuyt and Levy); Department of Nutrition, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada (Ms Garofalo and Dr Levy); Department of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada (Dr Nuyt).

Correspondence: Marjolaine Héon, RN, PhD, Faculté des sciences infirmières, Université de Montréal, CP 6128, succursale Centreville, Montréal, Québec Canada H3C 3J7 (marjolaine.heon@umontreal.ca).

Funding for this pilot study was provided by AWHONN Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canadian Nurses Foundation, and Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en interventions en sciences infirmières du Québec (GRIISIQ).

Financial support was provided to the principal investigator during her doctoral studies by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Faculté des études supérieures et postdoctorales de l'Université de Montréal, Faculté des sciences infirmières de l'Université de Montréal, Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine, Fondation de recherche en sciences infirmières du Québec (FRESIQ), Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en interventions en sciences infirmières du Québec (GRIISIQ), Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec, and Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ).

Medela Canada offered complimentary breast pump accessory sets.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses