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URC Employees Publish Research Article: "Use of job aids to improve health worker performance and maternal understanding in Benin"
Four current and former University Research Company, LLC (URC) employees -- Larissa Jennings, Andre Sourou Yebadokpo, Jean Affo, and Marthe Agbogbe -- recently published a research article titled, “Antenatal counseling in maternal and newborn care: use of job aids to improve health worker performance and maternal understanding in Benin” in the journal BioMed Central Pregnancy and Childbirth. Jennings was a member of the Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) and Yebadokpo, Affo, and Agbogbe are affiliated with the Benin Integrated Family Health Project (PISAF).
The HCI Project and the PISAF Project are funded by the US Agency for International Development and managed by URC.
Antenatal care provides an important opportunity to improve maternal understanding of care during and after pregnancy. Unfortunately, communication efforts to new mothers can often be insufficient. The research examined three outcomes involving the use of job aides:
- Quality of counseling provided to pregnant women
- Provider perceptions regarding use of the job aids
- Women's knowledge of messages relating to maternal and newborn care
Jobs aids are support tools with written information that is often enhanced by images, making readily available information needed to comply with standards while minimizing provider dependence on memory.
Counseling job aids were developed for this study to support provider communication to pregnant women about care during and after pregnancy. Members of the PISAF project and the Quality Assurance Project, also managed by URC, designed the counseling cards and materials. Fourteen public health maternities in Benin used the counseling job aides to gather data for the study.
The counseling job aides illustrated antenatal topics, such as:
- General prenatal care
- Birth prepardness
- Danger signs during pregnancy
- Clean delivery
- Immediate newborn care
The conclusion from this study indicates that use of a job aids-focused intervention can be an effective strategy to improve quality of antenatal communication, as well as maternal understanding for new mothers.
February 16, 2011