Applying a knowledge translation model to the uptake of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative in the Australian health care system

Marjorie ATCHAN, Deborah DAVIS, Maralyn Foureur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global, evidence-based, public health initiative. The evidence underpinning the Initiative supports practices promoting the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding and encourages women's informed infant feeding decisions. In Australia, where the Initiative is known as the Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) the translation of evidence into practice has not been uniform, as demonstrated by a varying number of maternity facilities in each State and Territory currently accredited as 'baby friendly'. This variance has persisted regardless of BFHI implementation in Australia gaining 'in principle' support at a national and governmental level as well as inclusion in health policy in several states. There are many stakeholders that exert an influence on policy development and health care practices. Aim: Identify a theory and model to examine where and how barriers occur in the gap between evidence and practice in the uptake of the BFHI in Australia. Results: Knowledge translation theory and the research to practice pipeline model are used to examine the identified barriers to BFHI implementation and accreditation in Australia. Conclusion: Australian and international studies have identified similar issues that have either enabled implementation of the BFHI or acted as a barrier. Knowledge translation theory and the research to practice pipeline model is of practical value to examine barriers. Recommendations in the form of specific targeted strategies to facilitate knowledge transfer and supportive practices into the Australian health care system and current midwifery practice are included.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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