JOURNAL ARTICLE

Studying perceived needs for information on maternal and infant health care in the puerperium period among fathers of newborns in China

Binqian Ge, Shen-Xian Wan, Hui-Ling Li, Qian Shen, Wei Wang, Yuanyuan Mo, Brian C Kelly, Ji-Chuan Wang
Midwifery 2019 July 9, 78: 32-41
31349182

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to understand the perceived needs for information on maternal and infant healthcare during the puerperium among the fathers of newborns in China, and to examine factors that are associated with the patterns of perceived needs.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted.

METHODS: A survey was conducted in the obstetrics department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University in Suzhou, China. A total of 206 fathers of newborns were interviewed with a response rate of 98.1%. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify a priori unknown patterns of perceived needs for information (knowledge/skills) on maternal and infant healthcare during the puerperium period. Chi-square tests were applied to examine factors associated with such patterns of needs.

RESULTS: The majority of the participants perceived strong needs for information on maternal and infant healthcare during the puerperium. LCA identified three latent classes on perceived needs for information on maternal healthcare among Chinese fathers of newborns: Class 1 - Low: Some Infant Health Related Needs; Class 2 - Moderate: Lower Physical Recovery Needs; and Class 3 - High: Enthusiastic Needs. Similarly, three latent classes were identified for perceived needs for information on infant health care: Class 1 - Low: Some Medical Needs; Class 2 - Moderate: Lower Breastfeeding Needs; and Class 3 - High: Enthusiastic Needs. Fathers aged 30 to 35, urban residents, and those with higher education were more likely to be in the Enthusiastic Needs groups for information needs for both maternal and infant healthcare.

CONCLUSIONS: Perceived needs for information on maternal and infant healthcare are widespread among fathers of newborns in China. Three distinct latent classes for perceived needs for information (knowledge/skills) on maternal and infant health were identified in this population. Socio-demographics, such as age, residence, and education, were significantly associated with such patterns of needs. The findings have implications for the development of interventions to improve maternal and infant healthcare in China.

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