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Clinical Trial Summary

The quality of antenatal care (ANC) in much of sub-Saharan Africa is constrained by severe resource and staffing shortages. The investigators adapted and piloted an evidence-based model of group antenatal care as an innovative way to improve ANC service delivery and increase health promotion. This pilot will be conducted in Malawi and Tanzania and will provide data to prepare for a large randomized controlled trial to document the impacts that group antenatal has on perinatal health outcomes. This study will ultimately inform policy and practice aimed at improving quality of antenatal care through respectful and woman-centered care to pregnant women.

Clinical Trial Description

More than 90% of women in sub-Saharan Africa use antenatal care (ANC) at least once in pregnancy. To leverage high attendance rates, most facilities bundle HIV prevention and prevention of maternal-to-child transmission (PMTCT) with ANC. Unfortunately, the quality of ANC in sub-Saharan Africa is sharply constrained by severe resource and staffing shortages, as reflected in numerous "missed opportunities" for PMTCT, clinical service delivery, and health education. Moreover, job satisfaction among the overburdened providers is low. To improve ANC quality, the investigators will adapt and pilot an innovative, evidence-based model of group ANC, an approach that restructures provider time, allowing health facilities to offer respectful, woman-centered and high quality ANC given the limitations.

In CenteringPregnancy (CP), the only evidence-based model of group ANC, 12 women meet jointly for two hour antenatal visits, assessing their own weights and blood pressures, meeting briefly with the provider for individual consultations, and engaging in facilitated health discussions. Randomized controlled trial (RCT) data from ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations in the US demonstrated that CP is highly effective at improving ANC adherence, provider and client satisfaction, and maternal and child outcomes. In the US, the successful integration of HIV prevention into the CP model reduced sexually transmitted infections and increased condom use.

CP has not been implemented with fidelity and tested for efficacy in a low-resource country. With funding from the Chicago Developmental Center for AIDS Research, the investigators conducted preliminary work in Malawi and Tanzania which suggested that a CP-based model of group ANC was feasible and acceptable; both women and providers were excited and energized by the model. The purpose of this study is to build on this work and: 1) conduct the developmental work to collaboratively adapt CP materials for use in both countries (sessions, training guides, and implementation and evaluation strategies); 2) train providers and pretest activities; and 3) conduct a full-scale randomized pilot. Investigators will work directly with the Centering Healthcare Institute to implement this CP-based model of group ANC with fidelity. This study will result in a feasible, acceptable, and sustainable CP-based model of group ANC adapted for the constraints posed by poorly resourced health systems and those of the clients they serve. These pilot data will be used to generate retention rates and effect sizes for an RCT to test the efficacy of a CP-based group ANC model.

Group antenatal care is an innovative paradigm shift in ANC, and this rigorous evaluation of its impact will expand the limited scientific assessments of reconfigured ANC models and mother and infant health outcomes in low-resource countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Because this model was developed and tested in target countries with high HIV prevalence and poor maternal and neonatal outcomes, it has the potential for broad impacts on maternal and child health, including PMTCT, in other low resource settings. ;

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Health Services Research

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT02999334
Study type Interventional
Source University of Illinois at Chicago
Status Completed
Phase N/A
Start date September 2013
Completion date August 2016

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