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Table 3 Characteristics of participants who passed/failed the IBLCE exam (N = 92)

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

  Passed Failed χ2 p
  n (%) n (%)   
  N 53 39   0.18
Demographic characteristics
 Profession Community nurse 19 (35.8) 11 (28.2) 0.60 0.44
Midwife 14 (26.4) 13 (33.3) 0.52 0.47
Neonatology nurse 13 (24.5) 9 (23.1) 0.03 0.87
Doctor 3 (5.7) 0 2.28 0.13
Other 4 (7.6) 6 (15.3) 0.73 0.40
 Highest qualification University degree 14 (27.0) 9 (23.1) 1.13 0.57
College degree 31 (59.6) 27 (69.2)
High school degree 7 (13.5) 3 (7.7)
 Place of worka Community health centre 21 (40.4) 13 (33.3) 7.57 0.18
Maternity hospital 18 (34.3) 13 (33.3)
Neonatology ward 3 (5.8) 3 (7.7)
Paediatric ward 0 3 (7.7)
Private practice 0 2 (5.1)
Other 10 (19.2) 5 (12.8)
 Time spent working with breastfeeding mothers (years) >  20 24 (46.2) 11 (28.2) 5.43 0.14
11–20 17 (32.7) 12 (30.8)
5–10 9 (17.3) 11 (28.2)
<  5 2 (3.8) 5 (12.8)
 Duration last child breastfed (months) >  12 27 (52.9) 18 (48.6) 0.51 0.97
>  6–12 13 (25.5) 10 (27.0)
3–6 6 (11.8) 6 (16.2)
<  3 2 (3.9) 1 (2.7)
Did not breastfeed 3 (5.9) 2 (5.4)
Breastfeeding education
 Was breastfeeding part of your formal education? Yes 29 (55.8) 19 (48.7) 0.45 0.51
No 23 (44.2) 20 (51.3)
 If yes, no. of hours <  10 22 (78.6) 7 (36.8)   <  0.01*
10–20 3 (10.7) 3 (15.8) 9.38
>  20 3 (10.7) 9 (47.4)  
If yes, did it include bed-side learning? Yes 7 (17.9) 12 (30.7) 5.18 0.03*
No 21 (53.8) 8 (20.5)
If yes, how many hours? <  5 2 (3.8) 3 (7.7)   0.45
5–10 2 (3.8) 1 (2.6) 1.61
> 10 3 (5.7) 8 (20.5)  
Which forms of informal breastfeeding education have you attended? 90 h IBLCE exam preparatory course 53 (100.0) 26 (66.7) 20.57 <  0.01*
Breastfeeding conferences/symposiums 42 (79.2) 11 (28.2) 23.97 <  0.01*
UNICEF/WHO 20-h course for maternity staff 28 (52.8) 15 (38.5) 1.86 0.17
Breastfeeding webinars 22 (41.5) 4 (10.3) 10.82 <  0.01*
20-h course for primary health care teams 19 (35.8) 6 (15.4) 4.76 0.03*
Exam preparation
 Motivation for sitting exam To improve my knowledge in breastfeeding 48 (90.6) 25 (64.1) 9.60 <  0.01*
So I can work as an IBCLC 19 (35.8) 6 (15.4) 4.76 0.03*
To test my knowledge in breastfeeding 17 (32.0) 7 (17.9) 2.24 0.13
To obtain the prestigious IBCLC certificate 13 (24.5) 5 (12.8) 1.96 0.16
To prove that I can do it 9 (17.0) 3 (7.7) 1.71 0.19
I was obliged to by my employer 6 (11.3) 7 (17.9) 0.81 0.38
 Study strategies used Reread handouts 47 (88.7) 25 (64.1) 7.89 <  0.01*
Underlined or highlighted while reading 41 (77.4) 22 (56.4) 4.56 0.03*
Tested myself with practice questions 39 (73.6) 18 (46.2) 7.71 <  0.01*
Made outlines 25 (47.2) 18 (46.2) 0.01 0.92
Studied with others 19 (35.8) 4 (10.3) 7.85 <  0.01*
Actively participated during breastfeeding course 16 (30.2) 2 (5.1) 8.99 0.01*
Re-copied my notes 8 (15.1) 5 (12.8) 0.09 0.75
Crammed the night before the test 7 (13.2) 1 (2.6) 3.02 0.07
 Materials useda Course handouts 53 (100.0) 27 (69.2) 18.75 <  0.01*
Breastfeeding atlas 37 (69.8) 15 (38.5) 8.99 <  0.01*
Translated questions from Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review 35 (66.0) 15 (38.5) 6.89 <  0.01*
 There was enough literature in my mother tongue. 13 (48.1) 27 (50.9) 0.06 0.81
 I used study materials in English. 16 (59.3) 24 (48.0) 0.89 0.34
 Study pattern used Study sessions spaced out over weeks/months 37 (72.5) 16 (59.3) 1.43 0.23
Most study done in the days before the exam 14 (27.5) 11 (40.9)
 Did you spend time observing mother-support groups or otherwise find time to listen to normal, healthy mothers? Yes 30 (56.6) 15 (55.3) 0.01 0.92
No 23 (43.4) 12 (44.7)
Exam experience
Clarity of instructions provided by IBLCE regarding exam application process n = 53 n = 26   
  Completely clear 44 (83.0) 16 (61.5) 4.41 0.11
Partially clear 8 (15.1) 9 (34.6)
Unclear 1 (1.9) 1 (3.8)
Clarity of instructions provided by IBLCE regarding exam procedure n = 53 n = 27   
  Completely clear 38 (71.7) 10 (37.0) 10.26 <  0.01*
Partially clear 14 (26.4) 17 (63.0)
Unclear 1 (1.9) 0
Clarity of instructions provided by proctors during exam n = 52 n = 27   
  Completely clear 47 (90.4) 22 (81.5) 2.51 0.29
Partially clear 4 (7.7) 5 (18.5)
Unclear 1 (1.9) 0
Clarity of photographs used during the exam n = 52 n = 27   
  Completely clear 15 (28.3) 2 (7.4)   
  Partially clear 32 (60.4) 17 (63.0) 7.12 0.03*
  Unclear 6 (11.3) 8 (29.6)   
Was there sufficient time to solve all exam questions n = 52 n = 27   
  Yes 48 (90.6) 23 (85.2) 0.52 0.47
  No 5 (9.4) 4 (14.8)
  1. aMultiple answers allowed
  2. *Signficantly less than p = 0.05