BACKGROUND: Previous studies have revealed conflicting results for the Breastfeeding Assessment Score (BAS) in predicting early breastfeeding cessation. Our objective was to externally validate the BAS and provide summary accuracy estimates for this clinical prediction model.
METHODS: We used the original data from a prospective cohort study. Additional studies were identified by searching electronic databases (Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane) from 2002 to 2013 and contacting research groups that had derived or validated the BAS. Prospective cohort studies were eligible if the BAS was computed at baseline and mothers were followed up for breastfeeding cessation. Two physicians extracted relevant information and independently assessed the methodological quality for the included studies.
RESULTS: In the external validation cohort, 22 of 424 mothers (5.2%) discontinued breastfeeding within 14 days of infant age. The BAS predicted early breastfeeding cessation with an area under the curve of 0.70 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.65 to 0.74) and inadequate calibration. When restricting the meta-analysis to 3169 mother–infant pairs enrolled in 4 higher-quality studies, a BAS value <8 predicted early cessation with 0.80 sensitivity (95% CI: 0.69 to 0.91) and 0.51 specificity (95% CI: 0.32 to 0.70) summary estimates.
CONCLUSIONS: Substantial between-study heterogeneity limited the interpretation of summary accuracy estimates. The BAS predicts early breastfeeding cessation with moderate accuracy, although local recalibration is advised before implementation. Further study is warranted to determine whether the BAS can help pediatricians in identifying mother–infant pairs that may benefit from more extensive breastfeeding assessment and support.
- Accepted February 4, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics