Factors constraining adherence to referral advice for severely ill children managed by the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness approach in Imbabura Province, Ecuador

H. D. Kalter, R. Salgado, L. H. Moulton, P. Nieto, A. Contreras, M. L. Egas, R. E. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: Low referral completion rates in developing countries undermine the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy for lowering child mortality. This study sought to identify factors constraining adherence to referral advice in a health system using the IMCI approach. Methods: Caregivers of 160 children urgently referred to hospital were prospectively interviewed. Caregivers who accessed and did not access hospital were compared for potential referral constraining factors, including demographics, family dynamics, the severity of their child's illness, their interaction with the health system, self-perceived problems, and physical and financial access. Results: 67/160 (42%) referred children did not access hospital. Six factors were associated with non-access, including two health worker actions: not being given a referral slip [adjusted odds ratio (OR)= 15.3, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 4.4-64.6) and not being told to go to the hospital immediately (adjusted OR = 5.3, 95% CI 1.9-16.3). Receiving both of these interventions reduced the risk of not accessing hospital to 19%, from 96% for those who received neither intervention. Several indicators of illness severity, including caregivers' ranking of their children's illness severity, the presence of severe illness signs and mortality, were investigated and found not to be important explanatory factors. Conclusion: Providing a referral slip and counseling the caregivers of severely ill children to go to the hospital immediately appear to be powerful tools for increasing successful referral outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume92
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Keywords

  • IMCI
  • Integrated Management of Childhood Illness
  • Referral referral constraints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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