Association of Parental Use of Patient Portals with Breastfeeding Rates in Infants

Chionye R. Ossai*, John McDonnell, Mohga Behairy, Colleen Schelzig, Lauren Larkin, Jessica Jones, Wei Liu, Anirudha Das

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our objective was to determine the association of parental use of patient portals with infant breastfeeding rates at six months of life. We performed a retrospective cohort study of infants age six to seven months born at ≥35 weeks gestational age between January 2017 and December 2018. We compared breastfeeding rates between infants of portal users versus non-portal users. Each group was comprised of 384 mother-infant dyads. The percentage of dyads breastfeeding among portal users and non-portal users were 48.7% and 44.3%, respectively. Overall, no statistically significant association was found between portal use and breastfeeding at six months in either unadjusted (OR 1.20; 95%CI 0.90–1.60) or multivariable analysis (OR0.92; 95%CI 0.68–1.30). More mothers in the portal use group breastfed at six months, but the difference was not statistically significant. Future prospective studies should focus on improving patient engagement through patient portals to realize potential benefits in improving breastfeeding rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consumer Health on the Internet
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the following people for contributing to the design of the study and review of the manuscript: Dr. Frank Esper, Dr. Kshama Daphtary, Dr. Tara Williams, and Dr. Anika Kumar. We also thank Michael Alexander-Leeks for his assistance with database access and Sarah Worley for her statistical support. The study abstract was accepted for a poster presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2020 meeting.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Breastfeeding
  • engagement
  • infant
  • patient
  • portal


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