Article

Integration of HIV/AIDS services with maternal, neonatal and child health, nutrition, and family planning services

Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. .
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 5.94). 01/2012; 9(9):CD010119. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010119
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The integration of HIV/AIDS and maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition services (MNCHN), including family planning (FP) is recognized as a key strategy to reduce maternal and child mortality and control the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, limited evidence exists on the effectiveness of service integration.
To evaluate the impact of integrating MNCHN-FP and HIV/AIDS services on health, behavioral, and economic outcomes and to identify research gaps.
Using the Cochrane Collaboration's validated search strategies for identifying reports of HIV interventions, along with appropriate keywords and MeSH terms, we searched a range of electronic databases, including the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), EMBASE, MEDLINE (via PubMed), and Web of Science / Web of Social Science. The date range was from 01 January 1990 to 15 October 2010. There were no limits to language.
Included studies were published in peer-reviewed journals, and provided intervention evaluation data (pre-post or multi-arm study design).The interventions described were organizational strategies or change, process modifications or introductions of technologies aimed at integrating MNCHN-FP and HIV/AIDS service delivery.
We identified 10,619 citations from the electronic database searches and 101 citations from hand searching, cross-reference searching and interpersonal communication. After initial screenings for relevance by pairs of authors working independently, a total of 121 full-text articles were obtained for closer examination.
Twenty peer-reviewed articles representing 19 interventions met inclusion criteria. There were no randomized controlled trials. One study utilized a stepped wedge design, while the rest were non-randomized trials, cohort studies, time series studies, cross-sectional studies, serial cross-sectional studies, and before-after studies. It was not possible to perform meta-analysis. Risk of bias was generally high. We found high between-study heterogeneity in terms of intervention types, study objectives, settings and designs, and reported outcomes. Most studies integrated FP with HIV testing (n=7) or HIV care and treatment (n=4). Overall, HIV and MNCHN-FP service integration was found to be feasible across a variety of integration models, settings and target populations. Nearly all studies reported positive post-integration effects on key outcomes including contraceptive use, antiretroviral therapy initiation in pregnancy, HIV testing, and quality of services.
This systematic review's findings show that integrated HIV/AIDS and MNCHN-FP services are feasible to implement and show promise towards improving a variety of health and behavioral outcomes. However, significant evidence gaps remain. Rigorous research comparing outcomes of integrated with non-integrated services, including cost, cost-effectiveness, and health outcomes such as HIV and STI incidence, morbidity and mortality are greatly needed to inform programs and policy.

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