FEST

FEST: feasibility study for a trial of proactive telephone support for breastfeeding women in disadvantaged areas provided by a specialised FEeding Support Team

There is increasing evidence that breastfeeding improves maternal and infant health outcomes and many governments support the World Health Organization recommendation to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months after birth. International evidence syntheses report that additional professional or lay support, particularly if it spans before and after birth, can increase the exclusivity of breastfeeding and to a lesser extent its duration.

This study tested the feasibility of conducting a larger randomised controlled trial of proactive telephone support to encourage breastfeeding among women from low-income areas in Scotland. Eligible women were randomised after hospital discharge to intervention: daily proactive telephone calls for ≤14 days or control: women could phone the feeding team ≤ day 14. Intention-to-treat analysis compared the randomised groups. The framework approach to analysis was applied to mixed-method data.

Outcome and Translation

The intervention and data collection methods were found to be acceptable to the women, therefore it is feasible to continue and develop a further multicentre randomised controlled trial to collect definitive evidence of the outcomes and cost-effectiveness of breastfeeding in Scotland and further afield.

Further details of the project are available on the HSRU FEST project page.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Dwayne Boyers (HERU)

External collaborators: L Craig (Population Health, University of Aberdeen); P Hoddinott and G MacLennan (HSRU, University of Aberdeen)

Publications

Hoddinott, P., Craig, L., Sherriff, D., McLennan, G., Boyers, D.,Vale, L., Arnold, K., McNicol, J., Humphrey, T. and Riach, J. (2011) The FEST Study: feasibility study for a trial of proactive telephone support for breastfeeding women in disadvantaged areas provided by a specialised Feeding Support Team. Final report for NHS Grampian. March 2011.

Hoddinott, P., Craig, L., Maclennan, G., Boyers, D. and Vale, L. (2012) 'The FEeding Support Team (FEST) randomised, controlled feasibility trial of proactive and reactive telephone support for breastfeeding women living in disadvantaged areas', BMJ Open,2(2), e000652.

Hoddinott, P., Craig, L., MacLennan, G., Boyers, D. and Vale, L. (2012) 'Process evaluation for the FEeding Support Team (FEST) randomised controlled feasibility trial of proactive and reactive telephone support for breastfeeding women living in disadvantaged areas', BMJ Open,2(2), e001039.

Presentations

Hoddinott, P. Craig, L., McLennon, G., Boyers, D., Vale, L., McPherson, G. (2011) 'The FEeding Support Team (FEST) trail of proactive telephone support for breastfeeding women living in disadvantaged areas', HSR/SDO Conference, Liverpool, June 2011.

Hoddinott, P. Craig, L., McLennon, G., Boyers, D.,Vale, L., McPherson, G. (2011) 'The FEeding Support Team (FEST) trail of proactive telephone support for breastfeeding women living in disadvantaged areas', Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Conference, Cumbria, June/July 2011.