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Measuring Quality of Maternal and Newborn Care in Developing Countries Using Demographic and Health Surveys
Authors: Zoe Dettrick, Hebe N. Gouda , Andrew Hodge, and Eliana Jimenez-Soto
Source: PLOS ONE , 11(6): e0157110. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157110
Topic(s): Child health
Maternal health
Reproductive health
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2016
Abstract: Background One of the greatest obstacles facing efforts to address quality of care in low and middle income countries is the absence of relevant and reliable data. This article proposes a methodology for creating a single “Quality Index” (QI) representing quality of maternal and neonatal health care based upon data collected as part of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) program. Methods Using the 2012 Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey dataset, indicators of quality of care were identified based on the recommended guidelines outlined in the WHO Integrated Management of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Two sets of indicators were created; one set only including indicators available in the standard DHS questionnaire and the other including all indicators identified in the Indonesian dataset. For each indicator set composite indices were created using Principal Components Analysis and a modified form of Equal Weighting. These indices were tested for internal coherence and robustness, as well as their comparability with each other. Finally a single QI was chosen to explore the variation in index scores across a number of known equity markers in Indonesia including wealth, urban rural status and geographical region. Results The process of creating quality indexes from standard DHS data was proven to be feasible, and initial results from Indonesia indicate particular disparities in the quality of care received by the poor as well as those living in outlying regions. Conclusions The QI represents an important step forward in efforts to understand, measure and improve quality of MNCH care in developing countries.