Kayla Fornal


Current practice, knowledge, beliefs, and confidence level of nurse practitioners in the state of Florida on tongue and lip ties before and after an educational module

Purpose: Tongue and/or lip ties (TT/LT) occur in 2-11% of infants and contribute to breastfeeding difficulties, speech delays, and dental conditions. The purpose of this project was to identify the current practice, knowledge, beliefs, and confidence level of nurse practitioners (APRNs) in Florida who care for infants regarding identification, symptoms, and treatment options for TT/LT; and to examine how these constructs change after completing an educational module on TT/LT.

Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional project was employed, with a self-selected nonprobability sample. APRNs who care for infants in Florida were recruited via online sources. An educational module was developed with a pre/post survey measuring APRN practice, knowledge, beliefs, and confidence levels regarding TT/LT. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data.

Results: Forty-six APRNs completed the pre-survey. Most participants (78.1%) report inadequacies in education regarding TT/LT and 82.6% of participants agree that TT/LT are associated with breastfeeding difficulties. Most participants diagnose TT/LT, but 91% do not perform release procedures. Less than 35% of participants follow any guidelines regarding the management of tongue and lip ties. All participants found the educational module beneficial.

Discussion: Findings from this project are consistent with the literature; increased awareness of TT/LT is needed. The lack of education reported by APRNs in this sample confirm that an educational module may meet this knowledge gap. Limitations to this study, such as a low number of post-module survey responses, limited the ability to evaluate benefit of the educational module.

Conclusion: APRNs in this study recognize the importance of identifying TT/LT to prevent breastfeeding difficulties, however, lack of education in assessing and managing TT/LT was evident. Future research should identify how to implement an educational module in larger sample and validate benefit by examining change in APRN practice, knowledge, beliefs, and confidence in assessing and managing TT/LT.

Major Professor: Jessica Bahorski, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC, WHNP-BC






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