Evaluating motivational interviewing to promote breastfeeding by rural mexican-american mothers: The challenge of attrition

Susan L Wilhelm, Trina Aguirre, Ann E. Koehler, T. Kim Rodehorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although most Hispanic/Latino-American mothers initiate breastfeeding, duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding remain low. We explored whether a motivational interviewing (MI) intervention could help rural Mexican- American mothers continue breastfeeding. We used a two-group (MI intervention n = 26, attention control [AC] n = 27) repeated measures experimental design. Assessments and interventions occurred at 3 days, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks postpartum (time points when mothers are particularly vulnerable to discontinuing breastfeeding), with a final phone assessment at 6 months postpartum. We collected demographic data and measured intent to breastfeed for 6 months (intent question), self-efficacy (Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form), and collected breastfeeding information (breastfeeding assessment questionnaire). Independent t-tests and Mann Whitney U non-parametric tests were used to evaluate group differences (α = 0.05). High levels of attrition by week 6 impaired our ability to evaluate the potential of our MI intervention. No significant differences were found between groups for any of the outcome variables (intent to breastfeed for 6 months, breastfeeding self-efficacy, and duration of breastfeeding). Though the mothers intended to breastfeed for 6 months and were confident in their ability to do so, most did not breastfeed for 6 months. At 6 months, mothers receiving the MI intervention had breastfed an average of 90 days compared to 82 days for those receiving the AC sessions and 22% of the mothers in each group were still breastfeeding at some level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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