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The association between infant feeding pattern and mother’s quality of life in Taiwan

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Abstract

Background

This study compared the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of mothers using different infant feeding methods.

Methods

We used the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form (SF-36) to measure the HRQOL of 1,747 mothers and used the scores to look for associations with infant feeding methods (not breastfeeding, breastfeeding for <1 month, breastfeeding 1–5 months, and still breastfeeding at the 6th month). The mothers were chosen via a stratified sampling from the Taiwan national birth registration data between November and December 2003.

Results

HRQOL and breastfeeding duration were positively associated. Of the eight unadjusted domain scores of the SF-36, general health perception and mental health were significantly different among these four different infant feeding groups (P < 0.05). After controlling for potential confounding factors, mothers who breastfed for 6 months or longer had a higher HRQOL score than the other mothers. In addition, their physical functioning, general health perception and mental health scores were higher than those of mothers who did not breastfeed (P < 0.05). Mother’s family income and parity and child’s health status were also associated with mother’s quality of life.

Conclusions

Compared to the other mothers, mothers who breastfed for six moths or longer had better HRQOL. However, the limitation that this study was cross-sectional in design should be considered and further studies are needed.

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Abbreviations

BP:

Body pain

GH:

General health perception

HRQOL:

Health-related quality of life

MH:

Mental health

PF:

Physical functioning

RE:

Role limitations due to emotional problems

RP:

Role limitations due to physical health problems

SF:

Social functioning

SF-36:

36-item Short-Form health survey

VT:

Vitality

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Acknowledgements

This study was based on the data from Taiwan Birth Cohort Study Pilot Database and supported by the grants (BHP-PHRC-92-4 and DOH93-HP-1702) from the Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health, Taiwan. We thank the enduring support and assistance from Professor Tung-Liang Chiang, Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University College of Public Health, Taipei, Taiwan; Professor Meng-Chin Lee, Institute of Medicine, Professor Hui-Sheng Lin, School of Public Health, Chung Shan Medical University. Taichung, Taiwan; and Professor Bih-Ching Shu, Institutes of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

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Correspondence to Pau-Chung Chen.

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Chen, YC., Chie, WC., Kuo, SC. et al. The association between infant feeding pattern and mother’s quality of life in Taiwan. Qual Life Res 16, 1281–1288 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-007-9233-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-007-9233-1

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