Social Transfers for Exclusive Breastfeeding (STEB) Intervention in Lao People's Democratic Republic: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.


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Social Transfers for Exclusive Breastfeeding (STEB) Intervention in Lao People's Democratic Republic: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.
JMIR research protocols
Sonephet S., Kounnavong S., Zinsstag L., Vonaesch P., Sayasone S., Siengsounthone L., Odermatt P., Fink G., Wallenborn J.T.
1929-0748 (Electronic)
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Issued date
Publication types: Journal Article ; Randomized Controlled Trial ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Publication Status: epublish
Children in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) receive suboptimal nutrition because of low breastfeeding rates, undermining their developmental potential. While major public health campaigns have attempted to increase breastfeeding rates, they have been largely unsuccessful. One explanation for these unsuccessful interventions is the economic and financial constraints faced by mothers. A potential solution for alleviating these pressures is providing social transfers to support breastfeeding; defined as a cash or in-kind transfer. Capitalizing on key strategies used in previous social transfer programs, we will assess the effectiveness of social transfer intervention for increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
This study aims to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to assess whether social transfers can increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR.
A prospective, parallel cluster-RCT was conducted among 300 mothers who recently gave birth and initiated breastfeeding. Enrolling 100 participants for each intervention arm provided us with 80% power to detect an increase in exclusive breastfeeding from the anticipated 21% in the control arm to 40% in either of the 2 intervention arms. Mother-infant dyads were enrolled at approximately 1 month post partum. Follow-up visits will occur at 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years post partum; with the ambition to extend the follow-up period. Mother-infant dyads were enrolled between August 2022 and April 2023 with follow-up until 3 years post partum (2026). A local study team comprised of 2 nurses and 2 laboratory technicians is responsible for enrollment and follow-up of participants. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups during the baseline, 1-month visit: (1) control group, no social transfer; (2) intervention group 1, an unconditional social transfer at 6 months post partum; and (3) intervention group 2, a social transfer at 6 months post partum conditional upon mothers exclusively breastfeeding. All groups received educational materials supporting mothers to exclusively breastfeed. The primary end point will be exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months post partum. Secondary end points will include exclusive and complementary breastfeeding duration, childhood wasting and stunting, child growth, maternal and infant stress, predictors of early breastfeeding cessation, intestinal inflammation, anemia, maternal weight loss, maternal blood pressure, maternal anxiety, and GRIT personality score. Questionnaires and physical examinations were used to collect information.
As of November 2023, the study has enrolled 300 participants. Study participation is ongoing until December 2026 at minimum. Over the study lifetime, 93% have completed all visits.
We see potential for a long-term program that may be implemented in other low- or lower-middle-income countries with only minor modifications. The RCT will be used as a basis for observational studies and to investigate the impact of human milk on child fecal microbiota and growth. NCT05665049;
Humans, Breast Feeding/statistics & numerical data, Breast Feeding/psychology, Laos, Female, Prospective Studies, Adult, Mothers/psychology, Mothers/statistics & numerical data, Infant, Social Support, Infant, Newborn, Health Promotion/methods, Southeast Asian People, breastfeeding, breastmilk, cash transfer, child, growth and development, health, human milk, incentive, infant, intervention, lactation
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06/05/2024 13:00
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18/06/2024 7:17
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