Text messaging interventions for breastfeeding outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Yingwei Fan, Junyan Li, Janet Yuen Ha Wong, Daniel Yee Tak Fong, Kelvin Man Ping Wang, Kris Yuet Wan Lok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Given the health benefits of breastfeeding for infants and mothers, breastfeeding has become a significant public health issue. The global growth of mobile phone usage has created new options for breastfeeding promotion, including text messaging. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of text messaging interventions on breastfeeding outcomes and to identify the efficacy moderators of such interventions. Methods: Ten electronic databases were searched from the inception of the databases to 5 July 2023. Studies were included if they used randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs to evaluate the effect of text messaging interventions on breastfeeding outcomes. Two reviewers screened the included studies, assessed the risk of bias, and extracted the data. Pooled results were obtained by the random-effects model, and subgroup analyses were conducted on intervention characteristics to identify potential moderators. The protocol of this study was registered on PROSPERO (ID: CRD42022371311). Results: Sixteen studies were included. Text messaging interventions could improve the exclusive breastfeeding rate (at < 3 months: OR = 2.04; 95 % CI: 1.60–2.60, P < 0.001; at 3–6 months: OR = 1.66; 95 % CI: 1.18–2.33, P = 0.004; at ≥ 6 months: OR = 2.13; 95 % CI: 1.47–3.08, P < 0.001), and the breastfeeding self-efficacy (SMD = 0.30, 95 % CI: 0.14–0.45, P < 0.001). Text messaging interventions that covered antenatal and postnatal periods, delivered weekly were most effective in improving the exclusive breastfeeding rate. Conclusions: Text messaging interventions may improve breastfeeding practice compared with no or general health information. We suggest text messaging conducted from the pre- to postnatal periods in a weekly manner can effectively increase exclusive breastfeeding rates and breastfeeding self-efficacy. Further studies should investigate the relation between new theories (such as the health action process approach and the theory of message-framing) and efficacy of breastfeeding interventions, using text components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104647
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Breastfeeding
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Text messaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Text messaging interventions for breastfeeding outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this