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Table 2 Characteristics and experiences of Croatian and Slovenian participants (N = 92)a

From: The IBLCE exam: candidate experience, motivation, study strategies used and predictors of success

Variable Croatia Slovenia χ2 p
n (%)
 N 36 (39.6) 55 (60.45) 3.97 0.05
Did you pass the exam? n = 33 n = 45   
 Yes 19 (57.6) 32 (71.1) 1.00 0.32
 No 14 (42.4) 13 (28.9)
Demographic characteristics
 Profession
  Community nurse 16 (41.0) 14 (24.1) 3.51 0.06
  Midwife 12 (30.8) 15 (25.9) 0.38 0.54
  Neonatology nurse 4 (10.3) 18 (31.0) 5.49 0.02*
  Doctor 2 (5.1) 1 (1.7) 0.94 0.10
  Other 5 (12.8) 10 (17.2) 0.02 0.89
 Highest qualification
  University degree 9 (25.0) 14 (25.5) 7.73 0.02*
  College degree 27 (75.0) 31 (56.4)
  High school degree 0 (0.0) 10 (18.2)
 Place of work
  Community health centre 15 (41.7) 19 (34.5)   
  Maternity hospital 10 (27.8) 21 (38.2) 6.98 0.22
  Neonatology ward 5 (11.1) 1 (1.9)
  Private practice 2 (5.6) 0 (0.0)
  Paediatric ward 1 (2.8) 2 (3.6)
  Other 4 (11.1) 11 (20.0)
 Time spent working with breastfeeding mothers (years)
   >  20 16 (44.4) 19 (34.5) 6.82 0.08
  11–20 14 (38.9) 15 (27.3)
  5–10 6 (16.7) 14 (25.5)
   <  5 0 (0.0) 7 (12.7)
 Duration last child breastfed (months) 7.58 0.11
   >  12 20 (57.1) 25 (47.2)
   >  6–12 6 (17.1) 17 (32.1)
  3–6 3 (8.6) 9 (17.0)
   <  3 2 (5.7) 1 (1.9)
  Did not breastfeed 4 (11.4) 1 (1.9)
Breastfeeding education
 Was breastfeeding part of your formal education?
  Yes 15 (41.7) 33 (60.0) 2.90 0.09
  No 21 (58.3) 22 (40.0)
 If yes, no. of hours
   <  10 5 (13.9) 24 (43.6) 9.55 <  0.01*
  10–20 2 (5.6) 4 (7.3)
   >  20 8 (22.2) 4 (7.3)
 If yes, did it include bed-side learning?
  Yes 11 (73.3) 7 (21.9) 11.20 0.01*
  No 4 (26.7) 25 (78.1)
 If yes, how many hours?
   <  5 5 (45.5) 0 (0.0)   0.08
  5–10 0 (0.0) 1 (16.7) 5.58
   > 10 6 (54.5) 5 (83.3)  
 Which forms of informal breastfeeding education have you attended?
  90 h IBLCE exam preparatory course 32 (88.9) 46 (83.6) 0.49 0.49
  Breastfeeding conferences/symposiums 26 (72.2) 26 (47.3) 5.47 0.02*
  UNICEF/WHO 20-h course for maternity staff 18 (50.0) 25 (45.5) 0.18 0.67
  Breastfeeding webinars 18 (50.0) 7 (12.7) 15.00 <  0.01*
  20-h course for primary health care teams 9 (25.0) 16 (29.1) 0.18 0.67
Exam preparation
 Motivation for sitting exam
  To improve my knowledge in breastfeeding 32 (88.9) 40 (72.7) 3.40 0.07
  To obtain the prestigious IBCLC certificate 11 (30.6) 6 (10.9) 5.47 0.02*
  So I can work as an IBCLC 10 (27.8) 14 (25.5) 0.06 0.81
  To test my knowledge in breastfeeding 9 (25.0) 15 (27.3) 0.06 0.82
  I was obliged to by my employer 7 (19.4) 6 (10.9) 1.28 0.26
  To prove that I can do it 3 (8.3) 9 (16.4) 1.21 0.27
 Study strategies used
  Reread handouts 31 (86.1) 40 (72.7) 2.25 0.13
  Tested myself with practice questions 30 (83.3) 26 (47.3) 11.23 <  0.01*
  Underlined or highlighted while reading 29 (80.6) 33 (60.0) 4.19 0.04*
  Made outlines 14 (38.9) 28 (50.9) 1.25 0.26
  Studied with others 11 (30.6) 11 (20.0) 1.31 0.25
  Re-copied my notes 4 (11.1) 8 (14.5) 0.22 0.64
  Crammed the night before the test 4 (11.1) 4 (7.3) 0.40 0.53
  Actively participated during breastfeeding course 3 (8.3) 15 (27.3) 4.87 0.03*
  Other 3 (8.3) 1 (1.8) 0.92 0.34
 Materials used
  Course handouts 33 (91.7) 46 (83.6) 1.21 0.27
  Translated questions from Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review 24 (66.7) 26 (47.3) 3.27 0.07
  Breastfeeding atlas 19 (52.8) 32 (58.2) 0.26 0.61
  Other 4 (11.1) 3 (5.4) 0.34 0.55
 There was enough literature in my mother tongue 9 (25.0) 31 (56.4) 12.22 <  0.01*
 I used study materials in English. 15 (41.7) 21 (38.2) 0.01 0.94
 Study pattern used
  Study sessions spaced out over weeks/months 24 (66.7) 28 (50.9) 0.70 0.40
  Most study done in the days before the exam 9 (25.0) 16 (29.1)
 Did you spend time observing mother-support groups or otherwise find time to listen to normal, healthy mothers?
  Yes 9 (25.0) 26 (47.3) 6.58 <  0.01*
  No 27 (72.0) 29 (52.3)
Exam experience
 Clarity of instructions provided by IBLCE regarding exam application process n = 33 n = 45   
  Completely clear 16 (48.5) 31 (68.9) 4.45 0.11
  Partially clear 16 (48.5) 14 (31.1)
  Unclear 1 (3.0) 0 (0.0)
 Clarity of instructions provided by IBLCE regarding exam procedure n = 32 n = 46   
  Completely clear 19 (59.3) 40 (86.9) 8.73 <  0.01*
  Partially clear 11 (34.3) 6 (13.1)
  Unclear 2 (6.4) 0 (0.0)
 Clarity of instructions provided by proctors during exam n = 32 n = 46   
  Completely clear 24 (75.0) 44 (95.6) 7.38 0.03*
  Partially clear 7 (21.9) 2 (4.4)
  Unclear 1 (3.1) 0 (0.0)
 Clarity of photographs used during the exam n = 33 n = 46   
  Completely clear 5 (15.2) 11 (23.9)   
  Partially clear 19 (57.6) 30 (65.2) 3.83 0.15
  Unclear 9 (27.2) 5 (10.9)   
 Was there sufficient time to solve all exam questions? n = 36 n = 55   
  Yes 27 (75.0) 43 (78.2) 2.56 0.11
  No 9 (25.0) 12 (21.8)
  1. aOne participant’s nationality data was missing
  2. *Significantly lower than p = 0.05