BREAST: BRief and EASy Tool for breastfeeding assessment – for community based health care providers

Aurea Marcelene P. Yumul. MD, Elynn L. Go. MD

Objective: To develop a valid and reliable assessment tool for risk of breastfeeding cessation in infants aged 0-6months.

Design: Research and development design was used to make a checklist for identifying infant- mother dyads at risk for breastfeeding cessation. Delphi technique was performed among experts and target users to determine the items included in the tool. Validity was determined by content validation of expert review and qualitative evaluation of the tool by the target group. Internal consistency of the items was computed using Cronbach’s alpha.

Setting: Pilot testing of the tool was performed at the community level, among eight community based health care providers who each administered the proposed tool to two infant-mother dyads.

Patients/Participants: Fourteen purposely sampled population was included following the Delphi technique. This target group is composed of individuals whose knowledge and experiences are significant with regards breastfeeding.

Main Outcome Measure: Risk of breastfeeding cessation among mother-infant dyads was determined utilizing the developed tool.

Results: Top 6 items identified as risks for breastfeeding cessation are mothers working outside the home, nipple related concerns, maternal ill health, perception of low milk output, discouragement from household and family members and misconception regarding breastfeeding. Time of administration took an average of 10-15 minutes. All of the participant community health care providers agreed that the tool is clear and would use it on their patients. The internal consistency computed for the 6 questions in the tool, Cronbach Alpha, was 0.771.

Conclusion: Brief and Easy Tool for Breastfeeding Assessment (BREAST) has a good level of reliability and validity with regards identifying mother-infant dyads at risk of breastfeeding cessation. Ease of use and short administration time makes it a good tool for community based health care providers.