Validity of Expanded Program on Immunization Contact Method Health Behavior Estimates in Mali
ABSTRACT In the developing world, household surveys provide high-quality health behavior data integral to public health program management. The Expanded Program on Immunization Contact Method (EPI-CM) is a proposed, less resource-intensive method in which health center staff incorporate health behavior questions into routine vaccination activities. No systematic evaluation of EPI-CM validity has yet been conducted.
We used concurrent household survey and EPI-CM to collect data on 4 infant health behaviors in Mali at 2 time points (8 total comparisons). Studied health behaviors were bednet use, obtaining care for fever, obtaining care for a respiratory complaint, and using oral rehydration solution for diarrhea. Household survey and EPI-CM estimates were considered equivalent if a 95% confidence interval about the difference in estimated proportions fell within the interval (-.10, .10).
EPI-CM estimates were higher than household survey estimates for 7 of 8 unadjusted paired estimates; estimates of bednet use in 2009 met a priori equivalence criteria in a setting of high bednet use (90.5%). When we restricted household survey data to infants up-to-date on vaccinations, estimates for behaviors other than bednet use remained substantially different.
We were unable to demonstrate that EPI-CM, as implemented, consistently produces data comparable with household survey data.
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ABSTRACT: Malaria continues to be a prominent global public health challenge, in part due to the slow population adoption of recommended preventive and curative behaviors. We tested the effectiveness of two service delivery models designed to promote recommended behaviors, including prompt treatment seeking for febrile illness, in Odisha India. The tested modules include supportive supervision of community health workers (CHWs) and community mobilization promoting appropriate health seeking. Program effects were identified through a randomized cluster trial comprising 120 villages from two purposively chosen malaria-endemic districts. Significant improvements were measured in the reported utilization of bed nets in both intervention arms vis-à-vis the control. While overall rates of treatment seeking were equal across study arms, treatment seeking from a CHW was higher in both intervention arms and care seeking from trained providers also increased with a substitution away from untrained providers. Further, fever cases in both treatments were more likely to have received timely medical treatment (within 24 hours) from a skilled provider. The study arm with supportive supervision was particularly effective in shifting care seeking to CHWs and ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment. A community-based intervention combining the supportive supervision of community health workers with intensive community mobilization can be effective in shifting care seeking and increasing preventive behavior, and thus may be used to strengthen the national malaria control program.Malaria Journal 06/2014; 13(6901). DOI:10.1186/1475-2875-13-482