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How well do mothers recall their own and their infants' perinatal events? a two-district study using cross-sectional stratified random sampling in Bihar, India

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Valadez, Joseph ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6575-6592, Devkota, Baburam, Jeffery, Caroline ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8023-0708 and Hadden, Wilbur (2019) 'How well do mothers recall their own and their infants' perinatal events? a two-district study using cross-sectional stratified random sampling in Bihar, India'. BMJ Open, Vol 9, Issue 12, e031289.

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Abstract

Objective Global monitoring of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) programmes use self-reported data subject to recall error which may lead to incorrect decisions for improving health services and wasted resources. To minimise this risk, samples of mothers of infants aged 0–2 and 3–5 months are sometimes used. We test whether a single sample of mothers of infants aged 0–5 months provides the same information.

Design An annual MNCH household survey in two districts of Bihar, India (n=6 million).

Participants Independent samples (n=475 each) of mothers of infants aged 0–5, 0–2 and 3–5 months.

Outcome measures Main analyses compare responses from the samples of infants aged 0–5 and 0–2 months with Mantel-Haenszel-Cochran statistics using 51 indicators in two districts.

Results No measurable differences are detected in 79.4% (81/102) comparisons; 20.6% (21/102) display differences for the main comparison. Subanalyses produce similar results. A difference detected for exclusive breast feeding is due to premature complementary feeding by older infants. Measurable differences are detected in 33% (8/24) of the indicators on Front Line Worker (FLW) support, 26.9% (7/26) of indicators of birth preparedness and place of birth and attendant, and 9.5% (4/42) of the indicators on neonatal and antenatal care.

Conclusions Differences in FLW visits and compliance with their advice may be due to seasonal effects: mothers of older infants aged 3–5 months were pregnant during the dry season; mothers of infants aged 0–2 months were pregnant during the monsoons, making transportation difficult. Useful coverage estimates can be obtained by sampling mothers with infants aged 0–5 months as with two samples suggesting that mothers of young infants recall their own perinatal events and those of their children. For some indicators (eg, exclusive breast feeding), it may be necessary to adjust targets. Excessive stratification wastes resources, does not improve the quality of information and increases the burden placed on data collectors and communities which can increase non-sampling error.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 310 Maternal welfare
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WA Public Health > Statistics. Surveys > WA 900 Public health statistics
WQ Obstetrics > WQ 100 General works
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031289
Depositing User: Helen Fletcher
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2020 10:43
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2020 11:38
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/13139

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