Understanding the challenges related to breastfeeding education and barriers to curricular change: a systems perspective for transforming health professions education

Authors

  • Isabelle Michaud-Létourneau Université de Montréal
  • Marion Gayard Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Julie Lauzière Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Micheline Beaudry Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Laura Pascual Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Isabelle Chartier Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Juliette Herzhaft-LeRoy Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Sylvie Chiasson Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Bénédicte Fontaine-Bisson Mouvement allaitement du Québec
  • Catherine Pound University of Ottawa
  • Isabelle Gaboury Sherbrooke University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36834/cmej.73178

Abstract

Objectives: A majority of women and families wish that their babies be breastfed. However, too many still receive insufficient or inappropriate initial care from health professionals (HPs) who have limited breastfeeding (BF) competencies. We investigated barriers and potential solutions to improve the undergraduate training programs for various HPs.

Methods: Focus groups were carried out in three universities in Quebec and one in Ontario (Canada), with 30 faculty and program directors from medicine, midwifery, nursing, nutrition, and pharmacy. Discussions were subjected to thematic content analysis, before being validated in a strategic planning workshop with 48 participants from the same disciplines, plus dentistry and chiropractic.

Findings: Substantive improvements of undergraduate training programs for BF could be obtained by addressing challenges related to the insufficient, or lack of, (i) interactions among various HPs, (ii) opportunities for practical learning, (iii) specific standards to guide course content, (iv) real-life experience with counselling, and (v) understanding of the influence of attitudes on professional practice. Several potential solutions were proposed and validated. The re-interpretation of the results in light of various literature led to an emerging framework that takes a systems perspective for enhancing the education of HPs on BF.

Conclusions: To improve the education of HPs so as to enable them to provide relevant support for future mothers, mothers and their families, solutions need to be carried out to address challenges in the health system, the education system as well as regarding the curricular change process.

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Published

2022-06-07

How to Cite

1.
Michaud-Létourneau I, Gayard M, Lauzière J, Beaudry M, Pascual L, Chartier I, Herzhaft-LeRoy J, Chiasson S, Fontaine-Bisson B, Pound C, Gaboury I. Understanding the challenges related to breastfeeding education and barriers to curricular change: a systems perspective for transforming health professions education. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2022 Jun. 7 [cited 2022 Aug. 19];13(3):91-104. Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/73178

Issue

Section

Special Issue on Change in Medical Education