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J Adv Nurs. 2019 Nov 29. doi: 10.1111/jan.14274. [Epub ahead of print]

Effectiveness of a brief motivational intervention to increase the breastfeeding duration in the first six months postpartum: Randomized controlled trial.

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Hospital Comarcal Don Benito-Villanueva, Badajoz, Spain.
Nursing Department, Nursing and Occupational Therapy College, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.
Health and Care Research Group (GISyC), University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.



To evaluate the effectiveness of a brief motivational intervention to increase the breastfeeding duration in the first 6 months postpartum in mothers who began breastfeeding in the first hour after birth and to explore the role of general and breastfeeding self-efficacy in this relationship.


A multi-centre randomized controlled clinical trial.


Data were collected from February 2018 - March 2019. Women were randomly assigned to an intervention group that received a brief motivational intervention (N = 44) or a control group that was offered standard education on breastfeeding (N = 44). Survival analysis techniques were carried out with a follow-up of 6 months. In addition, the roles of breastfeeding and general self-efficacy in the association between BMI and breastfeeding duration were explored through mediation/moderation analysis.


Among 88 randomized patients (mean age, 32.82 years), 81 (92.04%) completed the trial. The survival analyses of exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding (exclusive and non-exclusive) showed reductions in the risk of abandonment in the intervention group of 63% (aHR: 0.37 [0.22 - 0.60] p < .001) and 61% (aHR: 0.39 [0.20 - 0.78] p = .008), respectively. We found that self-efficacy acted as a moderator of the effect of brief motivational intervention on breastfeeding self-efficacy. A discrete indirect effect of brief motivational intervention through increased breastfeeding self-efficacy was found on breastfeeding duration, with an index of moderated mediation of 0.08 (95% CI: 0.02 - 0.19). Greater positive variations in the breastfeeding self-efficacy scores during follow-up predicted exclusive and non-exclusive breastfeeding duration.


A brief motivational intervention conducted in the immediate postpartum period increases breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding duration in the first 6 months. Although breastfeeding self-efficacy seems to moderate the effect of brief motivational intervention on the increase in breastfeeding duration, other factors may influence its effectiveness. Further studies could focus on exploring how brief motivational intervention works and whether it also works for pregnant mothers who have not yet decided whether to breastfeed.


Brief motivational intervention could be introduced as part of routine care of women who begin breastfeeding to improve the low rates of exclusive breastfeeding at six months postpartum.


breastfeeding; breastfeeding self-efficacy; brief motivational intervention; midwives; motivational interviewing; nursing


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