Maternal and Child Health Handbook use for maternal and child care: a cluster randomized controlled study in rural Java, Indonesia

J Public Health (Oxf). 2019 Mar 1;41(1):170-182. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdx175.


Background: Effectiveness of the Maternal and Child Health Handbook (MCHHB), a home-based booklet for pregnancy, delivery and postnatal/child health, was evaluated on care acquisition and home care in rural Java, a low service-coverage area.

Methods: We conducted a health centre-based randomized trial, with a 2-year follow-up. Intervention included (i) MCHHB provision at antenatal care visits; (ii) records and guides by health personnel on and with the MCHHB; and (iii) sensitization of care by volunteers using the MCHHB.

Results: The follow-up rate was 70.2% (183, intervention area; 271, control area). Respondents in the intervention area received consecutive MCH services including two doses of tetanus toxoid injections and antenatal care four times or more during pregnancy, professional assistance during child delivery and vitamin A supplements administration to their children, after adjustment for confounding variables and cluster effects (OR = 2.03, 95% CI: 1.19-3.47). In the intervention area, home care (continued breastfeeding; introducing complementary feeding; proper feeding order; varied foods feeding; self-feeding training; and care for cough), perceived support by husbands, and lower underweight rates and stunting rates among children were observed.

Conclusion: MCHHB use promoted continuous care acquisition and care at home from pregnancy to early child-rearing stages in rural Java.

Keywords: children; health promotion; health services.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Health Services*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Health Services*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Tetanus Toxoid / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Tetanus Toxoid