Original Articles

‘Verba volant, scripta manent’: breastfeeding information and health messages provided to parents in the neonatal discharge summary in the Lazio Region, Italy


Objective. We aimed to evaluate the contents of the neonatal discharge summary (NDS), an important communication tool that should contain evidence-based information.
Methods. A quali-quantitative study of NDSs delivered from 29 hospitals of Lazio (Italy) in 2014 and 2017 was conducted. We used content analysis to assess the written information and logistic regression to estimate the association between outcomes (compliance with the International Code, health messages, and information on neonatal screenings) and some hospital’s characteristics.
Results. NDSs conforming to International Code were associated with low rate of C-section (p<0.05). Hospitals belonging to Local Health Authorities (p<0.05) and with a lower prevalence of C-section (p<0.05) had a greater attitude to promote infant health. The year of collection was associated with information on neonatal screenings (p<0.05).
Conclusions. An effort is required by hospitals to reduce their level of medicalization, in clinical practice and prescriptive attitudes, which affects the NDSs delivered to parents.


International code of marketing of breast-milk substitutes; Breastfeeding; Qualitative methods; Cesarean section

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