Process evaluation of integrated early child development care at private clinics in poor urban Pakistan: a mixed methods study

Process evaluation of integrated early child development care at private clinics in poor urban Pakistan: a mixed methods study

This study, funded by Grand Challenge Canada, was done in partnership with; Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development (UK) and Provincial Programs and Institutions in Punjab.

Background: In poor urban Pakistan, private GP clinics lack adequate services to promote early child development (ECD) care. A clinic-based contextualised ECD intervention was developed for quarterly tool-assisted counselling of mothers.

Aim: To explore the experience and implementation of ECD intervention by the private care providers and clients, for further adaptation for scaling of quality ECD care, at primary level private healthcare facilities in Pakistan.

Design & setting: A mixed methods approach using quantitative records review and qualitative interviews at poor urban clinics in Rawalpindi and Lahore, Pakistan.

Method: Quantitative data from study-specific records were reviewed for 1242 mother–child pairs registered in the intervention. A total of 18 semi-structured interviews with clinic staff, mothers, and research staff were conducted at four clinics. The interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim.

Results: District Health Office (DHO) support allowed transparent and effective selection and training of clinic providers. Public endorsement of ECD care at private clinics and the addition of community advocates promoted ECD care uptake. Clinic settings were found feasible for clinic assistants, and acceptable to mothers, for counselling sessions. Mothers found ECD counselling methods more engaging compared to the usual care provided.

Conclusion: In poor urban settings where public health care is scarce, minimal programme investment on staff training and provision of minor equipment can engage private clinics effectively in delivering ECD care.

URL: https://bjgpopen.org/content/1/3/BJGP-2017-0006