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Knowledge Translation in Vietnam: Evaluating facilitation as a tool for improved neonatal health and survival
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Neonatal mortality remains a problem worldwide, despite the existence of low-cost and evidence-based interventions. Unfortunately, the translation of these interventions into practice is deficient.

The aim of this thesis was to study aspects of knowledge translation (KT) before and during the Neonatal Knowledge Into Practice (NeoKIP) trial in Quang Ninh, Vietnam. Over a period of three years, this trial evaluated the use of facilitators from the Women’s Union who supported maternal and newborn health groups (MNHG) comprised of eight local stakeholders, as an intervention for improved neonatal survival.

In the first two studies (before intervention) we assessed primary health care staff’s knowledge and material preparedness regarding evidence-based neonatal care and explored how primary health care staff translated knowledge into practice. The last two studies (during intervention) were process evaluations aimed at describing the implementation, process and mechanism of the NeoKIP intervention.

Primary health care workers achieved 60% of the maximum score in the knowledge survey. Two separate geographical areas were identified with differences in staff levels of knowledge and concurrent disparities in neonatal survival, antenatal care and post-natal home visits. Staff perceived formal training to be the best way to acquire knowledge but asked for more interaction between colleagues within the healthcare system. Traditional medicine, lack of resources, low workload and poorly paid staff constituted barriers for the development of staff knowledge and skills.

Eleven facilitators were trained to cover eight facilitator positions. Of the 44 MNHGs, 43 completed their activities to the end of the study. In total, 95% of the monthly meetings with a MNHG and a facilitator were conducted with attendance at 86%. MNHGs identified 32 unique problems, mainly families’ knowledge/behavior, and implemented 39 unique actions, mostly regarding communication. MNHGs experienced that the group was strategically composed to influence change in the communes and facilitators were identified as being important to sustaining activities over time. The facilitators’ lack of health knowledge was regarded as a deficit in assisting the MNHGs, but their performance and skills increased over time.

This low-cost model, building on local stakeholder involvement, has the capacity to be scaled up within existing healthcare structures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 59 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 785
Keyword [en]
Knowledge translation, Facilitation, Neonatal mortality, Primary health care, Vietnam
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
International Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-173874ISBN: 978-91-554-8396-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-173874DiVA: diva2:525489
Public defence
2012-08-24, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-05-31 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2012-08-01
List of papers
1. Evidence-based practice in neonatal health: knowledge among primary health care staff in northern Viet Nam
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evidence-based practice in neonatal health: knowledge among primary health care staff in northern Viet Nam
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2009 (English)In: Human Resources for Health, ISSN 1478-4491, Vol. 7, 36- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: An estimated four million deaths occur each year among children in the neonatal period. Current evidence-based interventions could prevent a large proportion of these deaths. However, health care workers involved in neonatal care need to have knowledge regarding such practices before being able to put them into action.The aim of this survey was to assess the knowledge of primary health care practitioners regarding basic, evidence-based procedures in neonatal care in a Vietnamese province. A further aim was to investigate whether differences in level of knowledge were linked to certain characteristics of community health centres, such as access to national guidelines in reproductive health care, number of assisted deliveries and geographical location. METHODS: This cross-sectional survey was completed within a baseline study preparing for an intervention study on knowledge translation (Implementing knowledge into practice for improved neonatal survival: a community-based trial in Quang Ninh province, Viet Nam, the NeoKIP project, ISRCTN44599712). Sixteen multiple-choice questions from five basic areas of evidence-based practice in neonatal care were distributed to 155 community health centres in 12 districts in a Vietnamese province, reaching 412 primary health care workers. RESULTS: All health care workers approached for the survey responded. Overall, they achieved 60% of the maximum score of the questionnaire. Staff level of knowledge on evidence-based practice was linked to the geographical location of the CHC, but not to access to the national guidelines or the number of deliveries at the community level. Two separated geographical areas were identified with differences in staff level of knowledge and concurrent differences in neonatal survival, antenatal care and postnatal home visits. CONCLUSION: We have identified a complex pattern of associations between knowledge, geography, demographic factors and neonatal outcomes. Primary health care staff knowledge regarding neonatal health is scarce. This is a factor that is possible to influence and should be considered in future efforts for improving the neonatal health situation in Viet Nam.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107820 (URN)10.1186/1478-4491-7-36 (DOI)000266042500001 ()19393073 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2009-08-31 Created: 2009-08-31 Last updated: 2013-08-14Bibliographically approved
2. Newborn care and knowledge translation - perceptions among primary health care staff in northern Vietnam
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Newborn care and knowledge translation - perceptions among primary health care staff in northern Vietnam
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2011 (English)In: Implementation Science, ISSN 1748-5908, E-ISSN 1748-5908, Vol. 6, 29- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Nearly four million neonatal deaths occur annually in the world despite existing evidence-based knowledge with the potential to prevent many of these deaths. Effective knowledge translation (KT) could help to bridge this know-do gap in global health. The aim of this study was to explore aspects of KT at the primary healthcare level in a northern province in Vietnam. METHODS: Six focus-group discussions were conducted with primary healthcare staff members who provided neonatal care in districts that represented three types of geographical areas existing in the province (urban, rural, and mountainous). Recordings were transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analyzed using content analysis. RESULTS: We identified three main categories of importance for KT. Healthcare staff used several channels for acquisition and management of knowledge (1), but none appeared to work well. Participants preferred formal training to reading guideline documents, and they expressed interest in interacting with colleagues at higher levels, which rarely happened. In some geographical areas, traditional medicine (2) seemed to compete with evidence-based practices, whereas in other areas it was a complement. Lack of resources, low frequency of deliveries and, poorly paid staff were observed barriers to keeping skills at an adequate level in the healthcare context (3). CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that primary healthcare staff work in a context that to some extent enables them to translate knowledge into practice. However, the established and structured healthcare system in Vietnam does constitute a base where such processes could be expected to work more effectively. To accelerate the development, thorough considerations over the current situation and carefully targeted actions are required.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-152046 (URN)10.1186/1748-5908-6-29 (DOI)000289735200001 ()21447179 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2011-04-21 Created: 2011-04-21 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
3. Process evaluation of a knowledge translation intervention using facilitation of local stakeholder groups to impove neonatal survival in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Process evaluation of a knowledge translation intervention using facilitation of local stakeholder groups to impove neonatal survival in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam
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2016 (English)In: Trials, ISSN 1745-6215, E-ISSN 1745-6215, Vol. 17, no 1, 23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Annually, 2.8 million neonatal deaths occur worldwide, despite the fact that three-quarters of them could be prevented if available evidence-based interventions were used. Facilitation of community groups has been recognized as a promising method to translate knowledge into practice. In northern Vietnam, the Neonatal Health – Knowledge Into Practice trial evaluated facilitation of community groups (2008–2011) and succeeded in reducing the neonatal mortality rate (adjusted odds ratio, 0.51; 95 % confidence interval 0.30–0.89). The aim of this paper is to report on the process (implementation and mechanism of impact) of this intervention.

Methods

Process data were excerpted from diary information from meetings with facilitators and intervention groups, and from supervisor records of monthly meetings with facilitators. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. An evaluation including attributes and skills of facilitators (e.g., group management, communication, and commitment) was performed at the end of the intervention using a six-item instrument. Odds ratios were analyzed, adjusted for cluster randomization using general linear mixed models.

Results

To ensure eight active facilitators over 3 years, 11 Women’s Union representatives were recruited and trained. Of the 44 intervention groups, composed of health staff and commune stakeholders, 43 completed their activities until the end of the study. In total, 95 % (n = 1508) of the intended monthly meetings with an intervention group and a facilitator were conducted. The overall attendance of intervention group members was 86 %. The groups identified 32 unique problems and implemented 39 unique actions. The identified problems targeted health issues concerning both women and neonates. Actions implemented were mainly communication activities. Communes supported by a group with a facilitator who was rated high on attributes and skills (n = 27) had lower odds of neonatal mortality (odds ratio, 0.37; 95 % confidence interval, 0.19–0.73) than control communes (n = 46).

Conclusions

This evaluation identified several factors that might have influenced the outcomes of the trial: continuity of intervention groups’ work, adequate attributes and skills of facilitators, and targeting problems along a continuum of care. Such factors are important to consider in scaling-up efforts.

Keyword
community health workers, facilitation, knowledge translation, neonatal health, neonatal mortality, process evaluation, Vietnam
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
International Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-173395 (URN)10.1186/s13063-015-1141-z (DOI)000368034800002 ()
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencySwedish Research Council
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-04-23 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Lessons learned from stakeholders in a facilitation intervention targeting neonatal health in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lessons learned from stakeholders in a facilitation intervention targeting neonatal health in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam
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2013 (English)In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, ISSN 1471-2393, E-ISSN 1471-2393, Vol. 13, 234- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: In northern Vietnam the Neonatal health - Knowledge Into Practice (NeoKIP, Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN44599712) trial has evaluated facilitation as a knowledge translation intervention to improve neonatal survival. The results demonstrated that intervention sites, each having an assigned group including local stakeholders supported by a facilitator, lowered the neonatal mortality rate by 50% during the last intervention year compared with control sites. This process evaluation was conducted to identify and describe mechanisms of the NeoKIP intervention based on experiences of facilitators and intervention group members.

METHODS: Four focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with all facilitators at different occasions and 12 FGDs with 6 intervention groups at 2 occasions. Fifteen FGDs were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated into English, and analysed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Four themes and 17 sub-themes emerged from the 3 FGDs with facilitators, and 5 themes and 18 sub-themes were identified from the 12 FGDs with the intervention groups mirroring the process of, and the barriers to, the intervention. Facilitators and intervention group members concurred that having groups representing various organisations was beneficial. Facilitators were considered important in assembling the groups. The facilitators functioned best if coming from the same geographical area as the groups and if they were able to come to terms with the chair of the groups. However, the facilitators' lack of health knowledge was regarded as a deficit for assisting the groups' assignments. FGD participants experienced the NeoKIP intervention to have impact on the knowledge and behaviour of both intervention group members and the general public, however, they found that the intervention was a slow and time-consuming process. Perceived facilitation barriers were lack of money, inadequate support, and the function of the intervention groups.

CONCLUSIONS: This qualitative process evaluation contributes to explain the improved neonatal survival and why this occurred after a latent period in the NeoKIP project. The used knowledge translation intervention, where facilitators supported multi-stakeholder coalitions with the mandate to impact upon attitudes and behaviour in the communes, has low costs and potential for being scaled-up within existing healthcare systems.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
International Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-173399 (URN)10.1186/1471-2393-13-234 (DOI)000329251700002 ()
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-04-23 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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