Family experiences of infant and young child feeding in lower-income countries: protocol for a systematic review of qualitative studies.
BACKGROUND: Infant and young child feeding practices, including breastfeeding and complementary feeding of children under 2 years old, are crucially influenced by parent and family perceptions and experiences. Given the urgent need to improve nutrition of young children in low- and low-middle-income countries, both for reduction of morbidity and mortality in childhood and for future health outcomes, we propose to systematically review and synthesize available qualitative data specifically related to infant and young child feeding practices of parents and families in these settings, which may provide greater insights into barriers and facilitators to recommended feeding practices.
METHODS/DESIGN: The proposed study will systematically review existing qualitative research reporting infant and young child feeding practices from low- and low-middle-income settings. The Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research (ENTREQ) statement will be used for reporting the stages of the review and dissemination. The search period will include all studies published from 2006 to 2016. The study selection process will follow established and recommended guidelines for reviews, and quality assessment will be conducted in two phases using critical appraisal and subsequently a confidence in findings approach derived from Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation-Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative (GRADE-CERQual). A full synthesis of the studies identified by the review will begin with thematic analysis and be followed by an interpretive approach to provide actionable information on the topic.
DISCUSSION: The findings will provide insight into the barriers and facilitators related to behavior that may hinder or enable implementation of interventions aimed at improving infant and young child feeding practices in lower-income settings.