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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1999;32(1): 95-100.
Senior Medical Students' Attitudes toward and Knowledge about Breastfeeding.
Mi Young Lee, Mi Jung Kang, Choong Won Lee, Kyu Bok Jin, Eun Jung Suh, Jae Suk Ahn, Suk Kwon Suh
Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute for Medical Sciences Keimyung University, College of Medicine
OBJECTIVES: This study surveyed medical students attending clerkship to assess their attitude toward and knowledge about breastfeeding, and self-confidence to manage common breast-feeding problems. METHODS: A self-report questionnaire was administered to the 323 medical students at four medical colleges in Taegu in May 1997. The response rate was 92.9%, but the respondents used in the final data analysis were 245 (75.8%) due to missing variables. RESULTS: Overall, respondents showed equivocal attitudes toward breastfeeding (mean score 2.9 on a 6-point scale). Knowledge about breastfeeding was substantially low with the median % correct 39.2%. Of nine knowledge areas, weak areas were especially "contraindications and barriers to breastfeeding", "use of breastfeeding aids", "expression and storage of breast milk". Those reported to be confident to manage common breastfeeding problems were only 25.7%. Correlations between knowledge and self-confidence were not statistically significant except in college A (r=0.35, p<0.05). Correlations between knowledge and attitude were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that medical students attending clerkship in Taegu show equivocal attitudes toward breastfeeding, low self-confidence to manage common breastfeeding problems and have substantially limited level of knowledge. There should be more concerted efforts to improve this situation on the part of those involved in breastfeeding education.
Key words: breastfeeding; attitude; knowledge
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