Assessing Maternal Capabilities in the SHINE Trial: Highlighting a Hidden Link in the Causal Pathway to Child Health

Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Dec 15;61 Suppl 7(Suppl 7):S745-51. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ851.


A potential bottleneck for increasing the adoption of child health interventions has been limited attention to designing actions that are built on the essential role that caregivers play in determining their effectiveness. In the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial, we utilize the concept of maternal capabilities to examine participants' skills and attributes that affect their ability to provide appropriate care for their young child, fully engage with trial interventions, and influence the response to these interventions at the household level. We hypothesize that the impact of SHINE interventions on child stunting and anemia will be modified by these maternal capabilities. Drawing upon multiple theories, we identify and define critical maternal capabilities domains, and describe how they are measured in the trial. Description of maternal capabilities and their role as potential modifiers on impact will increase understanding of the impact of SHINE interventions, and the generalizability of our findings.

Keywords: caregiver capabilities; child caregiving; impact evaluation; intervention design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / prevention & control
  • Child Health*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mothers*
  • Research Design
  • Rural Population
  • Zimbabwe