JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of a Community-Based Behavior Change Program to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes in the Upper West Region of Ghana

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The Community Benefits Health (CBH) program introduced a community-based behavior change intervention to address social norms and cultural practices influencing maternal health and breastfeeding behaviors in rural Ghana. The purpose of this study was to determine if CBH influenced maternal health outcomes by stimulating community-level support in woman’s social networks.

A mixed-methods study was conducted to evaluate changes in six antenatal/postpartum care, birth attendance, and breastfeeding behaviors in response to the CBH intervention and to assess how the program was implemented and to what extent conditions during implementation influenced the results.

We found increases in five of the six outcomes in both the intervention and control areas. Qualitative findings indicated that this may have resulted from program spillover. We considered the dose of exposure to program activities and found that women were significantly more likely to practice maternal health behaviors with increased exposure to program activities while controlling for study area and time. Overall, we determined that exposure to the CBH program significantly improved uptake of three of the six study outcomes, indicating that efforts aimed at increasing communication across women and their social networks may lead to improved health outcomes.

Authors: Leanne Dougherty; Emily Stammer; Emmanuel Derbile; Martin Dery; Wahid Yahaya; Dela Bright Gle; Jahera Otieno; Jean Christophe Fotso.

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