This study examined the effect of a job aids-focused intervention on quality of facility-based postnatal counseling, and whether increased communication improved in-hospital newborn care and maternal knowledge of home practices and danger signs requiring urgent care. Ensuring mothers and newborns receive essential postnatal services, including health counseling, is integral to their survival. Yet, quality of clinic-based postnatal services is often low, and evidence on effective improvement strategies is scarce. Using a pre–post randomized design, data were drawn from direct observations and interviews with 411 mother–newborn pairs. Multi-level regression models with difference-in-differences analyses estimated the intervention’s relative effect, adjusting for changes in the comparison arm. The mean percent of recommended messages provided to recently-delivered women significantly improved in the intervention arm as compared to the control (difference-in-differences [∆i − ∆c] +30.9, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 19.3, 42.5), and the proportion of newborns thermally protected within the first hour (∆i − ∆c +33.7, 95 % CI 19.0, 48.4) and delayed for bathing (∆i − ∆c +23.9, 95 % CI 9.4, 38.4) significantly increased. No significant changes were observed in early breastfeeding (∆i− ∆c +6.8, 95 % CI −2.8, 16.4) which was nearly universal. Omitting traditional umbilical cord substances rose slightly, but was insignificant (∆i− ∆c +8.5, 95 % CI −2.8, 19.9). The proportion of mothers with correct knowledge of maternal (∆i− ∆c +27.8, 95 % CI 11.0, 44.6) and newborn (∆i− ∆c +40.3, 95 % CI 22.2, 58.4) danger signs grew substantially, as did awareness of several home-care practices (∆i− ∆c +26.0, 95 % CI 7.7, 44.3). Counseling job aids can improve the quality of postnatal services. However, achieving reduction goals in maternal and neonatal mortality will likely require more comprehensive approaches to link enhanced facility services with community-based initiatives.
- Job aids
- Postnatal care
- Quality improvement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health