The Use of Whatsapp Social Media Group for Nutrition Counselling among Parents with Children of Congenital Heart Defects
Keywords:Whatsapp, mobile health, congenital heart defects, CHD, Infant and Young Child Feeding, IYCF
Background: Ignorance about appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Practices among parents of children with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) can exacerbate malnutrition in these children leading to significant morbidity and mortality. Use of novel methods for Intensive Nutrition Counselling such as Whatsapp social media group can lead to considerable improvement in nutritional status of the child.
Objectives: To assess the efficacy of Whatsapp group for Intensive Nutritional Counselling to parents of children with CHD.
Methods: This is a two-year prospective interventional study, one-group before-after study design. Here, intervention is in the form of specialised focussed nutrition counselling for parents of children with CHD through Whatsapp social media group.
Results: Majority of the patients 16 (30.0%) were in the age group of 7-12 months, predominant diagnosis (25 patients i.e. 48.9%) was Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). Sixty-eight percent patient-families belonged to lower socio-economic class. Before intervention, 71.1% of children (37 of 52) were found to be underweight, 35.5% children were stunted and 65.6% children were wasted. Post intervention there was significant improvement in all the 3 anthropometric indicators. This intervention particularly helped improve IYCF habits for the age group of 7-12 months. Post intervention all parents included the 8 food groups in their childrenâ€™s diet thus providing them wholesome nutrition whereas earlier only 2-3 food groups were given to children on a daily basis.
Conclusion: This is the first study to explore use of Whatsapp group to educate parents of children with CHD about specific nutrition counselling, resulting in improvement in child anthropometric indices.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Shruti Prabhu, Atul Prabhu, Kavita Kiran Sahu
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