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Reasons for Pacifier Use and Non-Use in African-Americans: Does Knowledge of Reduced SIDS Risk Change Parents’ Minds?

Authors
  • Joyner, Brandi L.1
  • Oden, Rosalind P.1
  • Moon, Rachel Y.1, 2, 3
  • 1 Children’s National Medical Center, Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health, Washington, DC, USA , Washington (United States)
  • 2 George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, Washington, DC, USA , Washington (United States)
  • 3 Children’s National Medical Center, Division of General Pediatrics and Community Health, 111 Michigan Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20010, USA , Washington (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Apr 12, 2015
Volume
18
Issue
2
Pages
402–410
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10903-015-0206-0
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

To investigate African-American parental reasons for pacifier use or non-use, and whether knowledge of the association with decreased SIDS risk changes decisions about pacifier use. We conducted focus groups and individual interviews with mothers. Grounded theory methodology was used. 83 mothers participated; 72.3 % of infants used pacifiers. Reasons for pacifier use included comfort/soothing, safety/SIDS, and preference over digit-sucking. Reasons for pacifier non-use included infant refusal, fear of attachment, nipple confusion, and germs. Many parents were unaware that pacifier use reduces SIDS risk; however, most parents of non-users did not think that this knowledge would have changed their decision. Reasons included skepticism about the pacifier-SIDS link. Many reasons underlie African-American parental decisions about pacifier use. Providers should provide information about the benefits of pacifiers. Establishing for parents any plausible link between the protective mechanism of pacifiers and SIDS pathophysiology may be important in promoting pacifier use.

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