Dykes, Fiona Clare, Richardson-foster, Helen, Crossland, Nicola and Thomson, Gillian
'Dancing on a thin line': Evaluation of an Infant Feeding Information Team to implement the WHO Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
OBJECTIVES: To conduct an in-depth evaluation of the Infant Feeding Information Team (IFIT) to implement the WHO Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in North West England. The evaluation included consultations with inter-disciplinary professionals to explore their perceptions of the IFIT and related contextual issues.
DESIGN: A qualitative, descriptive study involving seven focus groups (n=34) and semi-structured, in-depth interviews (face to face or via telephone; n=68) with a total of 102 participants. Thematic networks analysis was conducted to generate global, organising and basic themes.
SETTING: Two maternity/primary health-care facilities located in the North-West of England.
FINDINGS: Six global themes were generated; this paper focuses upon one of these themes: 'Dancing on a thin line'. This reflects the difficulties health-care staff face in negotiating political, professional and socio-cultural influences on infant feeding practices and how they struggle to implement best available evidence, guidance and practice when they experience incomplete, conflicting and competing messages around infant feeding.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: IFIT offers an innovative means to sustain contact with the formula industry without their unprecedented access to health facilities or personnel. Focused training opportunities should be provided to enable health-care staff to appreciate the constituent limitations of artificial milks and provide consistent, sensitive and comprehensive infant feeding information.
Uncontrolled Keywords (separate with ;):
Marketing; Breast-milk substitutes; Breast feeding