Physicians Knowledge and Practice of Safe Sleep Recommendations for Infants in South Dakota

Jyoti Angal, Maya Gogoi, Joe Zenel, Amy J. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Safe sleep recommendations for infants have been evolving over the past three decades. It has been shown that physicians' recommendations strongly influence parents' choice of infant sleep position. However, the proportion of physicians and/or nurses giving infant sleep advice to parents is reportedly low. METHODS: A survey was conducted in South Dakota to evaluate pediatricians' and family practitioners' knowledge of safe sleep recommendations for infants. Survey questions assessed their beliefs regarding risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and their recommendations for safe sleep environments provided to parents/caregivers. RESULTS: Among the respondents, 98 percent felt that it is important to discuss SIDS with every parent and 80 percent of them indicated a need within their profession to have further information on the topic of SIDS. However, 31 percent of physicians with 16 years or more since training and 64.5 percent of those with less than 16 years since training did provide safe sleep advice to parents and caregivers. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the knowledge of SIDS risk factors, gaps were seen in dissemination of information regarding all risk factors to parents. While sleep position, postnatal exposures and breast feeding were more likely to be addressed, other elements of a safe sleep environment such as bedding surface, bed sharing, pacifier use and room ventilation were less likely to be covered. These findings indicate the need for improved health care provider education/communication in South Dakota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-353
Number of pages5
JournalSouth Dakota medicine : the journal of the South Dakota State Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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