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Almost all pregnant women in Senegal receive some antenatal care (ANC), yet only around half receive four or more visits and provision of education and counselling during ANC is often inadequate and, in some cases, non-existent. This results in missed opportunities to provide support and to counsel women regarding appropriate care-seeking practices and health behaviours during pregnancy and across the continuum of care. This pilot effectiveness-implementation randomized controlled trial explored whether group ANC (G-ANC), a model that integrates standard individual pregnancy care with facilitated participatory group education activities and peer support, could potentially address some of these challenges. The G-ANC model adapted for Senegal builds on local healthcare delivery systems and aligns with World Health Organization recommendations for a shift towards women-centred models of maternity services. It was implemented at the health post level, and a total of 330 pregnant women participated in the study, of whom 85% were followed up at 6-10 weeks post-delivery. We assessed implementation outcomes (e.g. acceptability, cost) to establish the feasibility of the model in Senegal and explored effectiveness outcomes related to maternal and infant health for the planning of a large-scale trial. Results indicate that women and ANC providers were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the G-ANC model, and exploratory analyses suggested improvements in exclusive breastfeeding, intention to use family planning, birth preparations and knowledge around maternal and newborn danger signs. This article provides timely and relevant evidence on the feasibility of G-ANC as an alternative model of care during pregnancy and a solid basis for recommending the conduct of a large-scale implementation study of G-ANC in Senegal. Key Messages Group antenatal care (G-ANC) is a model of care that integrates standard individual pregnancy care with facilitated participatory group education activities and peer support. We carried out a pilot effectiveness-implementation study of G-ANC in six health posts in Senegal's Kaolack district. Results suggested that an adapted G-ANC model was feasible to implement within the current health system and sociocultural context in Senegal. Feasibility and exploratory effectiveness results provide a solid basis for recommending the conduct of a large-scale implementation study of G-ANC in Senegal.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Health policy and planning
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Voluntary groups of people representing diverse interests in the community such as hospitals, businesses, physicians, and insurers, with the principal objective to improve health care cost effectiveness.
Research aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome. Measures include parameters such as improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states (such as elevated blood pressure).
Work consisting of a set of directions or principles to assist the health care practitioner with patient care decisions about appropriate diagnostic, therapeutic, or other clinical procedures for specific clinical circumstances. Practice guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, organizations such as professional societies or governing boards, or by the convening of expert panels. They can provide a foundation for assessing and evaluating the quality and effectiveness of health care in terms of measuring improved health, reduction of variation in services or procedures performed, and reduction of variation in outcomes of health care delivered.
A strategy for purchasing health care in a manner which will obtain maximum value for the price for the purchasers of the health care and the recipients. The concept was developed primarily by Alain Enthoven of Stanford University and promulgated by the Jackson Hole Group. The strategy depends on sponsors for groups of the population to be insured. The sponsor, in some cases a health alliance, acts as an intermediary between the group and competing provider groups (accountable health plans). The competition is price-based among annual premiums for a defined, standardized benefit package. (From Slee and Slee, Health Care Reform Terms, 1993)
Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.
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