Content of Infant Safe Sleep Counseling and Maternal Reported Practices in an Urban Clinic

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Objective: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a leading cause of mortality in infants, and pediatric providers can influence caregiver infant safe sleep practices. We described the content of safe sleep counseling by pediatric providers and examined pediatric provider and caregiver factors that may be related to the delivery of safe sleep counseling. Methods: A sample of mothers and providers enrolled in the Safe Start Study, a randomized controlled trial assessing a safe sleep intervention, were audio-recorded during the 2-week well child visits (WCV) at a large urban pediatric practice in Baltimore, Maryland from October 2015 to April 2017. Provider counseling content related to infant sleep was transcribed and coded based on American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement Grade A recommendations. Maternal reported infant sleep practices were defined by items on an interviewer administered survey. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relation between maternal reported infant sleep practices and provider counseling. Results: Most, 92%, of WCVs included at least 1 safe sleep topic, but there was inconsistency in content delivered based on AAP recommendations. Yet, only 12% of WCVs included all 4 components of ABC counseling. Maternal report of infant sleeping with a person or an object in sleep space was associated with decreased odds of receiving counseling on alone no person, no objects (adjusted odds ratio: 0.34, 95% confidence interval: 0.13, 0.90). Conclusions: Pediatric provider counseling on safe sleep is inconsistent across AAP recommendations demonstrating a need for enhanced provider education and a more standardized approach to assess infant sleep practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-807
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic pediatrics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • infant mortality
  • safe sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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