Assessment of Infant and Young Child Feeding Content in Physicians’ Postgraduate Textbooks in Croatia

Anamarija Ćuže Gugić, Irena Zakarija-Grković


Objectives − Physicians who care for mother-baby dyads should receive training in infant and young child feeding. This should be reflected in the official postgraduate medical curriculum and in the relevant textbooks. The aims of this study were to: 1) determine if infant and young child feeding is part of physician postgraduate training programs in Croatia; 2) assess the infant and young child feeding content of relevant textbooks.

Methods − Post-graduate training programs in obstetrics/gynaecology, paediatrics and family medicine, available online, for the academic year 2016/7 were analysed. Eight relevant textbooks were assessed by two independent authors. Topics covered in World Health Organisation’s Infant and young child feeding Model Chapter for textbooks for medical students and allied health professionals were used as a ˝gold standard˝.

Results − Infant and young child feeding is part of family medicine and paediatric postgraduate training programs in Croatia, with one and four subjects dedicated to this topic, respectively. Six percent (range: 3.3 – 10.0) of infant and young child feeding content was found to be inaccurate, and 72% of topics were omitted. The topic Animal milks and infant formula was thoroughly covered, whereas Twins, Oversupply of breast milk, Relactation, Kangaroo Mother Care and Fostering breastfeeding support groups was omitted in all textbooks.

Conclusion − A thorough revision of infant and young child feeding content in Croatian physician postgraduate training programs is required if family physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians/gynaecologists are to provide appropriate advice and support to mother-infant dyads.


Infant and Young Child Feeding; Education; Physicians; Croatia; Model Chapter; Breastfeeding

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