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      Exploratory study on factors influencing the introduction of complementary feeding amongst caregivers of children between 6 and 24 months of age in Polokwane, Limpopo province


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          Complementary feeding should be introduced at six months to meet infants’ growing nutritional needs. Inappropriate complementary feeding poses threats to the health, development and survival of infants. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to good nutrition. Caregivers should ensure that infants are fed properly. Factors such as knowledge, affordability and availability impact complementary feeding. Hence, this study explores factors influencing complementary feeding amongst caregivers of children between the age of six and 24 months in Polokwane, Limpopo province, South Africa.


          A qualitative phenomenological exploratory study design was used to collect data from 25 caregivers, using purposive sampling; the sampling size was dependent on data saturation. Data were collected through one-on-one interviews using voice recorders and field notes for non-verbal cues. Data were analysed using the eight steps of Tesch’s inductive, descriptive and open coding technique.


          Participants had knowledge about when and what to introduce during complementary feeding. Participants alluded that availability and affordability, maternal beliefs about infant hunger cues, social media, attitudes, returning to work because of the end of maternity leave and painful breasts affect complementary feeding.


          Caregivers introduce early complementary feeding because of returning to work at the end of maternity leave and painful breasts. Additionally, factors such as knowledge about complementary feeding, availability and affordability, mother’s beliefs about child hunger cues, social media and attitudes influence complementary feeding.


          There is a need to establish credible social media platforms to disseminate appropriate complementary feeding messages. The established credible social media platforms must be promoted, and caregivers must be referred from time to time.

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          Most cited references44

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          The effectiveness of interventions to change six health behaviours: a review of reviews

          Background Several World Health Organisation reports over recent years have highlighted the high incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancer. Contributory factors include unhealthy diets, alcohol and tobacco use and sedentary lifestyles. This paper reports the findings of a review of reviews of behavioural change interventions to reduce unhealthy behaviours or promote healthy behaviours. We included six different health-related behaviours in the review: healthy eating, physical exercise, smoking, alcohol misuse, sexual risk taking (in young people) and illicit drug use. We excluded reviews which focussed on pharmacological treatments or those which required intensive treatments (e.g. for drug or alcohol dependency). Methods The Cochrane Library, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE) and several Ovid databases were searched for systematic reviews of interventions for the six behaviours (updated search 2008). Two reviewers applied the inclusion criteria, extracted data and assessed the quality of the reviews. The results were discussed in a narrative synthesis. Results We included 103 reviews published between 1995 and 2008. The focus of interventions varied, but those targeting specific individuals were generally designed to change an existing behaviour (e.g. cigarette smoking, alcohol misuse), whilst those aimed at the general population or groups such as school children were designed to promote positive behaviours (e.g. healthy eating). Almost 50% (n = 48) of the reviews focussed on smoking (either prevention or cessation). Interventions that were most effective across a range of health behaviours included physician advice or individual counselling, and workplace- and school-based activities. Mass media campaigns and legislative interventions also showed small to moderate effects in changing health behaviours. Generally, the evidence related to short-term effects rather than sustained/longer-term impact and there was a relative lack of evidence on how best to address inequalities. Conclusions Despite limitations of the review of reviews approach, it is encouraging that there are interventions that are effective in achieving behavioural change. Further emphasis in both primary studies and secondary analysis (e.g. systematic reviews) should be placed on assessing the differential effectiveness of interventions across different population subgroups to ensure that health inequalities are addressed.
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            Dangers and opportunities for social media in medicine.

            Health professionals have begun using social media to benefit patients, enhance professional networks, and advance understanding of individual and contextual factors influencing public health. However, discussion of the dangers of these technologies in medicine has overwhelmed consideration of positive applications. This article summarizes the hazards of social media in medicine and explores how changes in functionality on sites like Facebook may make these technologies less perilous for health professionals. Finally, it describes the most promising avenues through which professionals can use social media in medicine-improving patient communication, enhancing professional development, and contributing to public health research and service.
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              Tweet for Behavior Change: Using Social Media for the Dissemination of Public Health Messages


                Author and article information

                S Afr Fam Pract (2004)
                S Afr Fam Pract (2004)
                South African Family Practice
                20 February 2023
                : 65
                : 1
                : 5522
                [1 ]Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Healthcare Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Mabitsela Mphasha, pitso85@ 123456gmail.com
                Author information
                © 2023. The Authors

                Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

                : 27 February 2022
                : 23 April 2022
                Original Research

                complementary feeding,factors,caregivers,children,social media


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