Comparison of the Effect of Mathernal Education via Newsletter and Group Discussion on the Nutritional Quality of Preschoolers

Document Type : Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper


1 Instructor of Nursing, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 MS in Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Assistant Professor in clinical nutrition and metabolism, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Associate professor of nursing, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Proposing an appropriate model of feeding behavior to mothers plays an important role in creating an accurate child feeding conduct. Studies have shown that mothers have low level of knowledge and practice regarding their childrens’ nurishment. Newsletter is an educational media providing families with easy access to information resources. Group discussion is one of the best ways to change behavior.
Aim: This study aimed to compare the effects of training mothers by either newsletter or discussion groups in nutritional quality of preschoolers.
Methods: In this study, 192 mothers having preschoolers were selected by a convenient method and randomly assigned to discussion, newsletter and control groups.  A newsletter was sent for 4 weeks. The discussion group was trained with similar educational content one hour per week. Data were collected immediately after the intervention and then one month later using a Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Data analysis was performed with Repeated Measurements. Context validity index and test re-test (r=0.82) was used.
Results: There were no significant differences before the intervention, and between the HEI (Healthy Eating Index) score groups. HEI scores after education and one month later were significantly higher in the discussion  and newsletter  groups compared to control group (p<0.001). No significant difference was found between the discussion and the newsletter groups regarding HEI score after education and one month later (p>0.005).
Conclusion: Effect of maternal training with newsletter and group discussions on children’s nutritional quality was equal. Given the ease of use of newsletter as an effective alternative method, it can be utilized in preference to group discussions.


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