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11.11.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 3/2018

Journal of Community Health 3/2018

Infant Safe Sleep: A Survey of the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Obstetric Physicians

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 3/2018
Nichole L. Hodges, Sarah E. Anderson, Lara B. McKenzie, Mira L. Katz


Obstetricians may be a pregnant woman’s primary professional source of information about her infant prior to the birth, but infant safe sleep knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of this population are unknown. This study explores obstetric physicians’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and infant safe sleep and identifies barriers as well as enabling and/or reinforcing factors associated with providing infant safe sleep education in the prenatal environment. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with obstetric physicians who provide prenatal healthcare to women in Ohio. Surveys were sent to all licensed physicians included in the registry of the State Medical Board of Ohio with “obstetrics,” “obstetrics and gynecology,” or “maternal and fetal medicine” as their primary specialty (n = 1771). The response rate was 30%, with 418 physicians included in the analysis. Many participants were knowledgeable about infant safe sleep recommendations; however, only 55% indicated that it was important for obstetric physicians to discuss Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and/or infant safe sleep with prenatal patients. Many participants (70%) perceived barriers to providing infant safe sleep education, however most (82%) indicated interest in doing so. Participants’ knowledge and attitudes were significant predictors of whether they discuss this topic with patients. Obstetric physicians can influence the infant safe sleep decisions that women make. Improving obstetricians’ knowledge and attitudes about infant safe sleep and supporting physicians who wish to provide education on this topic may help to ensure that women are receiving frequent and consistent infant safe sleep messaging throughout the prenatal period.

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