OBJECTIVE: To investigate mothers' knowledge of reducing the risks for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and attitudes towards safer sleep practices.
DESIGN AND SETTING: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in deprived areas of Bristol, UK. Recruitment took place in 2014 at local health visitor-led baby clinics.
PARTICIPANTS: Of 432 mothers approached, 400 (93%) completed the face-to-face survey. Participants with infants at 'higher' risk of SIDS (using an algorithm based on a previous observational study) were compared with those at 'lower' risk.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The survey asked participants to recall three SIDS risk reduction strategies (unprompted), and scored responses to 14 SIDS risk-related infant sleep scenarios (prompted).
RESULTS: Overall, 48/400 (12%) mothers were classified as higher risk. Mothers in the higher risk group were less likely to breast feed (multivariate OR=3.59(95% CI 1.46 to 8.86)), less likely to be able to cite two or more unprompted correct SIDS risk reduction strategies (multivariate OR=2.05(95% CI 1.02 to 4.13)) and scored lower on prompted safer sleep scenarios overall.Notably, only 206/400 (52%) of all mothers surveyed (33% in the higher risk group) from these deprived areas in Bristol identified infant sleep position as a risk reduction strategy for SIDS, despite 25 years of campaigns.
CONCLUSIONS: Mothers in the higher risk group were disadvantaged when it came to some aspects of knowledge of SIDS risk reduction and attitudes to safer sleep. The initial 'Back-to Sleep' message that dramatically reduced these deaths a generation ago needs more effective promotion for today's generation of mothers.
- public health