Q-methodology identifies distinctive viewpoints of the facilitators and barriers to six-month exclusive breastfeeding in Northeast Thailand

Thiwawan Thepha* (Corresponding Author), Debbie Marais, Jacqueline Bell, Somjit Muangpin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The six-month exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rate almost halved between 2009 and 2013 in Northeast Thailand for no clear reason. Specific facilitators and barriers to six-month EBF have been identified for Thailand, but mothers’ views on these factors to continuing EBF breastfeeding until six months have not been explored in this region. Aim: This study aimed to prioritize mothers’ views on the identified facilitators and barriers of continuing six-month exclusive breastfeeding. Methods: Q-methodology was applied. This research was conducted at Well Baby Out-Patient Department of Khonkaen Hospital, Numphong Hospital and a private hospital. Thirty-four mothers, who had recently delivered infants aged between four and six months, were breastfeeding/had breastfed, were 20 to 40 years old, participated. Demographic data were analysed descriptively, and Q-method analysis was conducted using the PQ Method software 2.35. Results: There was consensus that having knowledge about the advantages of EBF was the most important facilitator of six-month EBF, and ‘not having any other responsibilities besides caring for her infant’ was the least important facilitator of six-month EBF. Three viewpoints emerged identifying different groups/clusters of mothers, namely, (1) caring for self, (2) requiring support and (3) breastfeeding knowledge. Conclusions: Despite some consensus among participants, three distinct viewpoints emerged regarding which facilitators and barriers were important to mothers. It is clear that a programme to improve the six-month EBF rate in Northeast Thailand would need to incorporate interventions or activities that address the different viewpoints identified.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition and Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2021

Keywords

  • facilitator
  • barrier
  • Northeast Thailand
  • six-month exclusive breastfeeding
  • Q-methodology

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