American Journal of Public Health Research
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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2020, 8(5), 147-153
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-8-5-3
Open AccessReview Article

Infant Safe Sleep Interventions in African American Communities

Malliga Jambulingam1, , Ariel Hunt1, Margaret Alston1, David Thomas1 and Yvonne Bronner1

1Nursing Program, School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Pub. Date: August 18, 2020

Cite this paper:
Malliga Jambulingam, Ariel Hunt, Margaret Alston, David Thomas and Yvonne Bronner. Infant Safe Sleep Interventions in African American Communities. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2020; 8(5):147-153. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-8-5-3


Background: Despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) regarding infant safe sleep practices, 39% of sleep-related infant deaths (SRID) occur among African American (AA) families each year. Effective interventions that promote AA parents/caregivers’ safe sleep practices for infants could help reduce SRID. Objective: To identify appropriate safe sleep interventions that increased compliance of AAP recommendations to reduce the risk of SRID among AA mothers/caregivers, a literature review was conducted. Methods: PubMed, EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar search engines were utilized to identify evidence-based research studies, published in English from 2000-2019 in the U.S that demonstrated the effectiveness of safe sleep interventions for AA parents/caregivers based on the AAP recommendations. Findings: The literature review revealed that multiple-element interventions such as free cribs and related materials, and safe sleep education increased adherence to AAP recommendations as evidenced by the majority mothers using the crib and adopting safe sleep recommendations. Conclusion and Recommendations: Although multiple interventions including education are valuable, culturally appropriate research is needed to better understand what specific intervention(s) will work to increase adherence to the AAP safe sleep recommendations among the remaining 39% of AA parents/caregivers who contribute disproportionately to the SRID disparity. Behavioral and environmental barriers preventing the adoption of safe sleep interventions also need to be studied in this target group of AA parents/caregivers. It is recommended that findings from these highly targeted evidence-based culturally appropriate studies be used to focus on funding, prevention programming, and policies toward the causes of SRID to close the disparity gap.

African American sleep-related infant deaths room sharing supine sleep position firm bedding

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