Objective: To assess the effect on maternal health outcomes of a community-based behavior change management intervention for essential newborn care leading to a reduction in neonatal mortality.
Methods: A cluster-randomized controlled trial involving 1 control and 2 intervention arms was conducted in Shivgarh, India, between January 2004 and May 2005. Risk-enhancing domiciliary newborn care behaviors, including those posing a concomitant risk to maternal health, were targeted through home visits and community meetings. Secondary outcomes included knowledge of maternal danger signs, self-reported complications, maternal care practices, care-seeking from trained providers, and maternal mortality ratio (MMR). The intervention arms were combined for analysis, which was done by intention to treat.
Results: Significant improvements were observed in maternal health equity and outcomes including knowledge of danger signs, care practices, self-reported complications, and timely care-seeking from trained providers. The difference in adjusted MMR was not significant (relative risk 0.44; 95% confidence interval, 0.14-1.43; P=0.11) owing to the inadequate sample size for this outcome, but may suggest a decline in MMR given improvements in other outcomes in the causal pathway to mortality.
Conclusion: Community-based strategies focused on prevention and care-seeking effectively complemented facility-based strategies toward improving maternal health, while synergizing with newborn care interventions.
Copyright Â© 2011 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.