This study evaluates the impact of the Integrated Management Of Childhood Illness (IMCI) training on quality of counseling provided to caregivers about administration of antimalarials to their children. Ten community health centers in southern Mali were randomized to either training or comparison arms of the study, and health providers' consultations with caregivers were observed. Out of a 10-point counseling scale (Cronbach's α =0.77), IMCI-trained providers completed an average of 1.47 (95% CI, -0.25, 3.2) more tasks than did providers who had not received IMCI training in a linear regression analysis that accounted for intra-provider correlations. Drug consultations done in both French and the local language, Bambara, had higher scores than those conducted exclusively in Bambara. The effect of providers receiving IMCI training was more pronounced in bilingual consultations, with an average increase of 2.49 (95% CI, 0.76, 4.22) in IMCI, bilingual consultations, and average increase of 0.87 (95% CI, -0.95, 2.69) in IMCI monolingual (Bambara) consultations as compared to non-IMCI-trained providers in monolingual consultations. IMCI training showed a non-significant trend overall in improving drug counseling provided to caregivers, with significant improvements in bilingual consultations. The IMCI program in Mali should consider strategies such as role-playing of counseling in Bambara or other local languages during training to improve patient-provider communication. Similar problems related to counseling by health workers in local languages are likely to be present throughout Africa, and warrant further study.
- Integrated Management Of Childhood Illness (IMCI)
- Patient-provider communication
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