Educational strategy to help the relatives of breast-fed infants with respiratory disease: a descriptive-exploratory study



Márcia Valéria Ratto Guimarães1, Enéas Rangel Teixeira1

1Fluminense Federal Universit



Aim: To produce an educational video to help the relatives of breast-fed infants suffering from respiratory disease.
Method: This is a qualitative descriptive study using a qualitative approach based on Paulo Freire’s theory entitled Pedagogy of Autonomy. It will be conducted at the Antonio Pedro University Hospital. The participants will be the relatives of breast-fed infants with respiratory disease who have received preventive care instructions from the nursing staff.  The data will be collected between August and October, 2013, using semi-structured interviews and will be analyzed using the Thematic Content Analysis Technique.
Descriptors: Health Education; Nursing; Child Care; Family; Respiratory Tract Disease




Recurrent respiratory disease may affect the development of breast-fed infants, especially those whose health is at risk, and therefore are more vulnerable to diseases and hospitalization during their first year of life. In 2009, the Unified Health System’s morbidity indicators for hospitalization on the part of one-year-old infants and children from one to four years of age due to respiratory disease showed a rate of 36,63% and 42,65%, respectively. Some studies have associated this high morbidity percentage with the lack of knowledge on the part of relatives who are unable to identify symptoms and thus are incapable of providing adequate home care, especially in severe cases(1).

Health education must be a main concern of nurses who provide healthcare to breast-fed infants.  It is crucial that they provide adequate instructions to the children’s relatives so as to prevent complications caused by respiratory disorders, as well as giving autonomy to the family and enabling them to take care of their infant at home. It is possible to create a new critical perspective with regard to breast-fed infants’ healthcare through a progressive liberating and dialogic educational process(2).

The use of technology helps to improve nursing practice and to contribute towards a more collaborative policy style. It not only allows the family to actively participate in the care of their infants, but also helps them develop specific skills to promote health(3) and prevent complications caused by respiratory diseases. However, in order to make this educational process effective, nurses must be familiar with the following items: the importance of an educational process; an awareness of the level of knowledge and care skills possessed by the children’s relatives; the ups and downs experienced by relatives during the care process; and an awareness of their beliefs, values and feelings. It is equally important to find out what the expectations of the infants’ relatives are regarding the nursing care service.

In addition, this study intends to improve communication between the healthcare professional and the patient’s family, as well as promoting their autonomy by helping them to develop care skills. 



How important is health education for the relatives of breast-fed infants with respiratory disease? What are the relatives’ conceptions with regard to breast-fed infants’ care, based on the instructions provided by the nurses? What is the relationship between the Pedagogy of Autonomy and children’s healthcare?



General: To produce an educational video to help the relatives of breast-fed infants suffering from respiratory diseases.
Specific: To identify how important nurse instructions are for effective homecare;
To describe the relatives’ conceptions about the care delivered to breast-fed infants, based on the instructions provided by nursing staff;
The discussion of the data collected will be based on the Pedagogy of Autonomy theory.



This is a qualitative descriptive study using a qualitative approach. It will be conducted at the pediatric outpatients’ clinic of the Antonio Pedro University Hospital (HUAP) in Niterói City, Rio de Janeiro state. The average number of breast-fed patients seen in the hospital is 130 per month and less than 30% of them suffer from recurrent respiratory diseases. The estimated number of participants is 30 family members, and it is expected that this number will be enough to provide sufficient relevant data to achieve data saturation, and also to enable categorization. The inclusion criteria are: to be a relative who takes care of breast-fed infants suffering from respiratory disease and who have received instruction on respiratory disease care from the nursing staff. The exclusion criteria are: relatives who suffer from physical disabilities; speech and hearing disorders; and mental and cognitive impairments. All participants will be asked to sign a Consent Form. The data collection will be developed in two stages: collection of socio-demographic data through semi-structured interview; and open-ended questions based on the study’s objectives.  The interviews will be recorded between August and October, 2013, and data collection will be carried out twice a week during morning and afternoon shifts. The data will be transcribed and categorized using Content Analysis Technique (Bardin).  

At the end of this study, an educational video will be produced with the help of a graphic designer. It is anticipated that this will be very helpful for the nursing team. This project has been approved by the IRB of Antonio Pedro University Hospital in 12/08/2013, under protocol no. CAAE: 16348113.0.0000.5243, and complies with the National Health Council (CNS) resolution no. 196/96 which regulates research involving human beings.



1.Barreto MS, Silva RLDT, Marcon SS. Morbidity in children of less than one year of age in risky conditions: a prospective study. Online braz j nurs [ Internet ]. 2013 Apr [ cited 2013 Aug 26 ] 12 (1): 5-20. Available from: doi:

2.Freire P. Pedagogia da Autonomia: saberes necessários à prática educativa. São Paulo: Paz e Terra; 2012.

3.Fonseca LMM, Leite AM, Mello DF, Silva MAI, Lima RAG, Scochi CGS. Educational technology in health: contributions for pediatric and neonatal nursing. Esc Anna Nery Rev Enferm  [ Internet ]. 2011  Mar [ cited  2013  Aug  19 ]  15 (1): 190-6. Available from:



Dissertation Research Project of the Assistencial Nursing Master’s Program, Fluminense Federal University (UFF).
Researcher: Márcia Valéria Ratto Guimarães
Researcher’s Mentor: Prof. Ph.D Enéas Rangel Teixeira



Received: 25/08/2013
Revised: 28/08/2013
Approved: 30/08/013