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Can breastfeeding support be taught online? An evaluation of a training package for student health visitors

Condon, Louise; Murray, Joy; Messer, Simon


Louise Condon

Joyce Murray
Associate Lecturer - APD - USEP0008

Simon Messer
Occasional Associate Lecturer - HAS - AHP


This study evaluated an online learning package developed to support student health visitors' education about health promotion in infant feeding and how best to support parents in the community. Online learning is increasingly being used in nursing education, in combination with traditional classroom-based teaching and experience in practice. To meet the needs of students across the South West of England, the University of the West of England (UWE) has developed innovative ways of delivering high-quality, evidence-based education. Study participants (n=66) were enrolled on a specialist community public health nursing course and were part of a cohort that studied at two geographically distant venues in the South West. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using an online survey. The study found that students had the skills and ability to use the online programme, and enjoyed working at home at a self-directed time and pace. Expectations of online learning packages are high in terms of professional presentation and technological quality. While students accepted the concept of online learning, some felt it was not an appropriate method to deliver training about breastfeeding. This evaluation suggests that the majority of students accept online learning as part of a blended learning package, even for practice-based subjects such as breastfeeding promotion and support.


Condon, L., Murray, J., & Messer, S. (2015). Can breastfeeding support be taught online? An evaluation of a training package for student health visitors. Journal of Health Visiting, 3(2), 100-106.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2015
Journal Journal of Health Visiting
Print ISSN 2050-8719
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 100-106
Keywords health visiting, breastfeeding, nursing, health promotion, infant feeding, online learning, training
Publisher URL


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