Publication Details

Almohanna, A., Win, K. & Meedya, S. (2020). Effectiveness of Internet-Based Electronic Technology Interventions on Breastfeeding Outcomes: Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22 (5), e17361.


©Alaa Ali Almohanna, Khin Than Win, Shahla Meedya. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 29.05.2020. BACKGROUND: Supporting women to initiate and continue breastfeeding is a global challenge. A range of breastfeeding interventions employing electronic technologies (e-technologies) are being developed, which offer different delivery modes and features over the internet; however, the impact of internet-based e-technologies on breastfeeding outcomes remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to identify the characteristics of current internet-based breastfeeding interventions employing e-technologies and investigate the effects of internet-based e-technologies on breastfeeding outcomes. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines in the following databases: Scopus, Web of Science, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, the Association for Computing Machinery, SpringerLink, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Xplore. RESULTS: This systematic review included 16 studies published between 2007 and 2018, with 4018 women in 8 countries. The characteristics of the interventions were grouped based on (1) mode of delivery (web-based, mobile phone apps, and computer kiosk), (2) purpose of the interventions (education and support), and (3) key strategies (monitoring and breastfeeding tracking, personalization, online discussion forum, web-based consultation, and breastfeeding station locators). Combining educational activities with web-based personalized support through discussion forums appeared to be the most effective way to improve breastfeeding outcomes and long-term exclusive breastfeeding rates. Monitoring and breastfeeding trackers appeared to be the least effective ways. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated a variety of internet-based e-technologies that professionals can use to promote, educate, and support breastfeeding women. Future internet-based breastfeeding interventions employing e-technologies might consider improving interaction with mothers and personalizing the content of the proposed interventions.



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