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Perceptions of quality across the maternal care continuum in the context of a health financing intervention: Evidence from a mixed methods study in rural Malawi

Kambala, Christabel ; Lohmann, Julia ; Mazalale, Jacob ; Brenner, Stephan ; Sarker, Malabika ; Muula, Adamson S. ; De Allegri, Manuela

In: BMC Health Services Research, 17 (2017), Nr. 392. pp. 1-19. ISSN 1472-6963

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Download (589kB) | Lizenz: Creative Commons LizenzvertragPerceptions of quality across the maternal care continuum in the context of a health financing intervention: Evidence from a mixed methods study in rural Malawi by Kambala, Christabel ; Lohmann, Julia ; Mazalale, Jacob ; Brenner, Stephan ; Sarker, Malabika ; Muula, Adamson S. ; De Allegri, Manuela underlies the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany

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Abstract

Background: In 2013, Malawi with its development partners introduced a Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Newborn Health (RBF4MNH) intervention to improve the quality of maternal and newborn health-care services. Financial incentives are awarded to health facilities conditional on their performance and to women for delivering in the health facility. We assessed the effect of the RBF4MNH on quality of care from women’s perspectives. Methods: We used a mixed-method prospective sequential controlled pre- and post-test design. We conducted 3060 structured client exit interviews, 36 in-depth interviews and 29 focus group discussions (FGDs) with women and 24 in-depth interviews with health service providers between 2013 and 2015. We used difference-in-differences regression models to measure the effect of the RBF4MNH on experiences and perceived quality of care. We used qualitative data to explore the matter more in depth. Results: We did not observe a statistically significant effect of the intervention on women’s perceptions of technical care, quality of amenities and interpersonal relations. However, in the qualitative interviews, most women reported improved health service provision as a result of the intervention. RBF4MNH increased the proportion of women reporting to have received medications/treatment during childbirth. Participants in interviews expressed that drugs, equipment and supplies were readily available due to the RBF4MNH. However, women also reported instances of neglect, disrespect and verbal abuse during the process of care. Providers attributed these negative instances to an increased workload resulting from an increased number of women seeking services at RBF4MNH facilities. Conclusion: Our qualitative findings suggest improvements in the availability of drugs and supplies due to RBF4MNH. Despite the intervention, challenges in the provision of quality care persisted, especially with regard to interpersonal relations. RBF interventions may need to consider including indicators that specifically target the provision of respectful maternity care as a means to foster providers’ positive attitudes towards women in labour. In parallel, governments should consider enhancing staff and infrastructural capacity before implementing RBF.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Health Services Research
Volume: 17
Number: 392
Publisher: BioMed Central
Place of Publication: London
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2017 09:00
Date: 2017
ISSN: 1472-6963
Page Range: pp. 1-19
Faculties / Institutes: Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Institut für Public Health (IPH)
Subjects: 610 Medical sciences Medicine
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