Counselling skills of Accredited Social Health Activists for promotion of optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding practices

Authors

  • Sahiba Kohli Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, India https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4281-6772
  • Ravinder Chadha Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47203/IJCH.2020.v32i01.028

Keywords:

Complementary Feeding, Breastfeeding, Counseling, Health Communication, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Village Health Worker

Abstract

Background: Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) play an important role in communicating messages related to infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices. Adequate knowledge and counselling skills are crucial for effective behavior change among mothers. Objective: To assess counselling skills of ASHAs for promotion of optimal IYCF practices among mothers of young children. Material & Methods: ASHAs (n=190) were selected randomly from 21 primary health centres in Delhi. Their knowledge and counselling skills for promotion of optimal IYCF practices were assessed using a questionnaire and simulated counselling sessions based on WHO IYCF counselling course (2006) and IYCF guidelines by WHO (2009), GOI (2006) and IAP (2016). Results: Mean scores of ASHAs on optimal IYCF knowledge and counselling skills were 65.2±11.8% (n=190) and 41.8±9.4% (n=182) respectively. Less than half (45%) of the appropriate key messages were correctly communicated by ASHAs during the simulated counselling sessions. Majority of ASHAs (>75%) used helpful non-verbal communication, simple language and tried solving problems while counselling. Inability to empathise with caregivers, praising good practices and assessing their understanding were the communication skills which most ASHAs (>95%) lacked. Conclusion: There is need to focus on improving their counselling skills for effective promotion of optimal IYCF practices.

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References

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Published

2020-03-31

How to Cite

1.
Kohli S, Chadha R. Counselling skills of Accredited Social Health Activists for promotion of optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding practices. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2020 Mar. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 21];32(1):137-44. Available from: https://www.iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/1316

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Short Article