The roles of multi-component interventions in reducing mistreatment of women and enhancing respectful maternity care: a systematic review

Kasaye, H.; Sheehy, A.; Scarf, V.; Baird, K.

Bmc Pregnancy and Childbirth 23(1): 305


ISSN/ISBN: 1471-2393
PMID: 37127582
Document Number: 557119
Despite recognition of the adverse impacts of the mistreatment of women during pregnancy, labour and birth, there remains limited evidence on interventions that could reduce mistreatment and build a culture of respectful maternity care (RMC) in health facilities. The sustainability of effective individual interventions and their adaptability to various global contexts remain uncertain. In this systematic review, we aimed to synthesise the best available evidence that has been shown to be effective in reducing the mistreatment of women and/or enhancing RMC during women's maternity care in health facilities. We searched the online databases PubMed, CINAHL, EBSCO Nursing/Academic Edition, Embase, African Journals Online (AJOL), Scopus, Web of Science, and grey literature using predetermined search strategies. We included cluster randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and pre-and-post observational studies and appraised them using JBI critical appraisal checklists. The findings were synthesised narratively without conducting a meta-analysis. The certainty of evidence was assessed using GRADE criteria. From the 1493 identified records, 11 studies from six sub-Sahara African countries and one study from India were included: three cluster RCTs and nine pre- and post-studies. We identified diverse interventions implemented via various approaches including individual health care providers, health systems, and policy amendments. Moderate certainty evidence from two cluster RCTs and four pre- and post-studies suggests that multi-component interventions can reduce the odds of mistreatment that women may experience in health facilities, with odds of reduction ranging from 18 per cent to 66 per cent. Similarly, women's perceptions of maternity care as respectful increased in moderate certainty evidence from two cluster RCTs and five pre- and post-studies with reported increases ranging from 5 per cent to 50 per cent. Multi-component interventions that address attitudes and behaviors of health care providers, motivate staff, engage the local community, and alleviate health facility and system constraints have been found to effectively reduce mistreatment of women and/or increase respectful maternity care. Such interventions which go beyond a single focus like staff training appear to be more likely to bring about change. Therefore, future interventions should consider diverse approaches that incorporate these components to improve maternal care.

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