Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Barriers and Facilitators to Skin-To-Skin Contact Among Arabian Mothers and Health Care Providers in Arab Countries: A Systematic Scoping Review

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International Journal of Childbirth


BACKGROUND: Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) occurs when a naked full-term neonate is placed on their mother’s bare abdomen or chest within 10 minutes of birth or soon after. Due to its multiple benefits for both the mother and the neonate, SSC is highly recommended by the World Health Organization. However, implementation of SSC in the Arab world is limited. AIM: To undertake a systematic review to identify the knowledge, attitudes, practice, barriers and facilitators to SSC implementation among Arabian mothers and the health care providers in Arab countries. METHODS: A systematic scoping review using the JBI three-step search strategy was used to systematically review quantitative and qualitative evidence. FINDINGS: A total of eight studies were included. Around 82% of mothers would like to have more education about SSC. The majority of mothers (n = 254, 79%) expressed a positive attitude towards SSC, however more than three quarters did not correctly practice SSC. Among the healthcare providers, the mean knowledge score about SSC was 14.42 (95% CI = -0.21 to 29.06, I2 = 96%). This review found evidence for barriers to SSC implementation including lack of education, lack of guidelines and cultural beliefs. CONCLUSIONS: Arabian mothers had positive attitudes towards SSC, but the practice was poor due to lack of education and the lack of protocols and guidelines. The knowledge and practice of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) were poor among health care providers (HCPs) despite holding a positive attitude. Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practice among Arab mothers and HCPs is needed to develop a robust educational programme to raise awareness with regards to SSC.

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