Generations in Families Talking Safe Sleep (GIFTSS)

Randomized Controlled Trial of a Safe Sleep Educational Intervention for Young Pregnant Women

  • Mary E. Aitkin Department of Pediatrics, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
  • Beverly K. Miller University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Shasha Bai
  • Samantha H. Mullins
  • Serifatu T. Walton-Buford
  • Leanne Whiteside-Mansell University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Keywords: safe sleep, teen mothers, injury prevention


Background: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation account for more than half of all Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) and are leading causes of post-neonatal deaths. Risk reduction strategies, including supine sleep position and safe sleep environment, are critical for prevention. Teen mothers, especially those in rural, poor, southern states, are at higher risk due to low compliance with recommendations.

Methods: We will conduct a randomized trial to test a tailored educational intervention on the sleep-related safety behaviors of teen mothers. In one study arm, the intervention will include not only the teen mothers but also senior caregivers (SCGs) to assess the influence they have in the decision-making of young mothers regarding infant health and safety. Our hypotheses are H1) teen mothers exposed to intervention will be more likely than controls to adopt safe sleep practices, and H2) teen mothers will be more likely to use those practices when they and their mothers or other significant female senior caregivers also participate in safe sleep education.

Discussion: Better understanding of the mediating role of female SCGs in the health decision of young mothers for their children may have implications for interventions addressing important health problems.

Study Protocols