Understanding the Mechanisms of Change in the Supportive and Respectful Maternity Care Intervention in Sindh, Pakistan: Provider Perspectives

Bilal Iqbal Avan, Waqas Hameed, Bushra Khan, Muhammad Asim, Sarah Saleem, Sameen Siddiqi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: We conducted this qualitative investigation to explore the mechanisms of change in providing respectful care resulting from the supportive and respectful maternity care intervention (S-RMC) in Sindh, Pakistan. Methods: We applied the principles of realist evaluation methodology with a descriptive explanatory research design. We conducted in-depth interviews with 36 maternity care providers at secondary-level public health facilities where S-RMC was implemented for 6 months. The S-RMC broad components included capacity-building of maternity teams and systemic changes for improvements in governance and accountability within public health facilities. Data were analyzed using a deductive content analysis approach. Results: We identified mechanisms of change, categorized by the S-RMC components: (1) S-RMC training: insight into women's feelings and rights, realization of the value that nonclinical staff can play, understanding of team coordination, orientation in psychosocial components of maternity care; (2) assessment of women's psychosocial vulnerabilities: identification of women's differential needs beyond routine care to provide woman-centered care; (3) psychosocial support: effective engagement with women and within maternity teams and the customization of woman- and companion-focused care; (4) care coordination: improved coordination among clinical and nonclinical staff to provide personalized care and psychosocial support and proper handover to ensure continuity of care; (5) assessment of quality of care: identification of service gaps from women's feedback; and (6) performance review and accountability: monthly performance review meetings to establish team member communication, systematic awareness of the maternity team's performance and challenges, and implementation of collective corrective actions. Conclusion: Our findings pointed to S-RMC working along multiple pathways-and concertedly with various health system components-to enable positive processes and behavioral change in maternity teams.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3200216
JournalGlobal health, science and practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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