Assessment of the Acceptability of Testing and Treatment during a Mass Drug Administration Trial for Malaria in Zambia Using Mixed Methods

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Aug;103(2_Suppl):28-36. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0663.


From 2014 to 2016, a community-randomized controlled trial in Southern Province, Zambia, compared mass drug administration (MDA) and focal MDA (fMDA) with the standard of care. Acceptability of the intervention was assessed quantitatively using closed-ended and Likert scale-based questions posed during three household surveys conducted from April to May in 2014, 2015, and 2016 in 40 health catchments that implemented MDA and fMDA and 20 catchments that served as trial controls. In 2014 and 2015, 47 households per catchment were selected, targeting 1,880 households in MDA and fMDA trial arms; in 2016, 55 households per catchment were selected for a target of 2,200 households in MDA and fMDA trial arms. Concurrently, 27 focus group discussions and 23 in-depth interviews with 248 participants were conducted on reasons for testing and treatment refusal, reasons for nonadherence, and community perception of the MDA campaign. Results demonstrated that the MDA campaign was highly accepted with more than 99% of respondents stating that they would take treatment if positive for malaria. High acceptability at baseline could be associated with test-and-treat campaigns recently conducted in the study area. There was a large increase in the acceptability of prophylactic treatment if negative for malaria from the baseline to follow-up survey for adults and children, from 62% to 96% for each. This likely resulted from an intensive community-wide sensitization program that occurred before the first treatment round at each household during community health worker visits.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Artemisinins / administration & dosage*
  • Artemisinins / therapeutic use
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Disease Eradication / methods
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / diagnosis
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mass Drug Administration*
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Quinolines / administration & dosage*
  • Quinolines / therapeutic use
  • Zambia / epidemiology


  • Artemisinins
  • Quinolines
  • dihydroartemisinin
  • piperaquine