Research Instrumentation and Methodologies

Does Federal Funding for Breastfeeding Research Target Our National Board of Health Objectives?

Citation: Brown L.P., Blair A.H., Meier P.P. Does Federal Funding for Breastfeeding Research Target Our National Health Objectives?. Pediatrics Vol. 111 No. 4; 2003: 360-4.

 Objective: To determine the number and dollar amount of federally funded research projects in the area of infant nutrition/breastfeeding/lactation from 1994 to 1996, and the impact of these funded projects on the achievement of our national goals for increasing the rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration.
Methods. Data were obtained from the Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects database, available through the National Institutes of Health. Abstracts of funded projects were identified, printed, and subjected to content analysis. Key information identified from the abstracts included: National Institutes of Health Institute, center, or division funding the project; type of extramural funding; amount of federal dollars awarded; and a classification of the project’s impact (direct, indirect, or none) on achievement of the Healthy People 2000 goals for breastfeeding.
Results. The final sample consisted of 362 abstracts in the broad category of infant nutrition/breastfeeding/lactation, which were awarded approximately $40.4 million in federal research funds over the 3 years addressed in this study. Of this amount, only 13.7% ($5.6 million) was awarded to projects determined to have either a direct or indirect impact on achieving the Healthy People 2000 goals for increasing the incidence and duration of breastfeeding. A total of 27 (7.5%) funded projects in this category, reflecting $4.1 million, had no relationship to breastfeeding per se, as they involved the use of human milk composition and technologies to improve artificial milks and develop new pharmaceuticals and therapies.
Conclusions. These findings suggest an incongruity between the national priorities for breastfeeding and the funding of scientific research in this content area, and provide important information for researchers and policymakers with respect to identification and redirection of funding priorities. Pediatrics 2003;111:e360–e364. URL:;
federal funding and research, human milk, human lactation,
infant nutrition, health policy, Healthy People 2000,
Healthy People 2010, breastfeeding initiation and duration

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Concurrent Validity of a New- Instrument for Measuring Nutritive Sucking in Preterm Infants

Citation: DeMonterice D., Meier P.P., Engstrom J.L., Crichton C.L., Mangurten H.H. Concurrent Validity of a New Instrument for Measuring Nutritive Sucking in Preterm Infants. Nursing Research Vol. 41, No. 5; 1992: 342-6.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the concurrent validity of the Whitney strain gage for the measurement of nutritive sucking in preterm infants. Ten preterm infants were studied continuously during at least one entire bottlefeeding per week, from admission into the study until discharge from the nursery. Sucking was measured simultaneously by an adapted nipple and the Whitney gage. The two instrnments were compared on the following measures: number of sucking bursts, number of sucks per burst, and duration of bursts and pauses between bursts, Total percent agreement for the occurrence of a sucking burst was 993% (K = .99). Sucks per burst varied from 2 to 113, with 893% of the pairs of sucking bursts differing by ::; 1 suck per burst. The mean absolute difference between the two instrnments for the duration of sucking bursts and pauses was .64 sand. 72 s, respectively. These results demonstrate the concurrent validity of the Whitney gage for measurement of sucking events in preterm infants.

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