The association of a large-scale television campaign with exclusive breastfeeding prevalence in Viet Nam

February 17, 2018

Alive & Thrive (A&T) used qualitative research methods to examine the association between exposure to breastfeeding television spots and exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) between 2011 and 2014 in Viet Nam. The study compared participants living in areas where facilities did (A&T intensive) and did not (A&T non-intensive) offer IYCF counseling services. The results showed that exposure to television spots was associated with higher EBF in A&T intensive areas. In both non-intensive and intensive areas, mothers’ exposure to breastfeeding television spots and message recall was associated with higher EBF. The results show a stronger association between the television spots and EBF behavior in areas with additional interventions than in those with television spots alone, which is consistent with previous studies. This study supports a growing literature showing that mass media can make a valuable contribution to behavioral beliefs, social norms, self-efficacy, and knowledge, which in turn prepares mothers to adopt exclusive breastfeeding behaviors. A commercial-grade television campaign was a sound investment for extending the program’s reach. These findings may persuade practitioners to use theory-based and emotion-focused television spots for social and behavior change, especially as part of comprehensive programs.