A Rapid Review of Available Evidence to Inform Indicators for Routine Monitoring and Evaluation of Respectful Maternity Care
Background: Some opportunities to routinely capture and improve respectful maternity care (RMC) during facility-based childbirth include quality improvement (QI) initiatives, community-based monitoring efforts through community score cards (CSC), and performance-based financing (PBF) initiatives. But there is limited guidance on which types of RMC indicators are best suited for inclusion in these initiatives. We sought to provide practical evidence-based recommendations on indicators that may be used for routine measurement of RMC in programs.
Methods: We used a rapid review approach, which included (1) reviewing existing documents and publications to extract RMC indicators and identify which have or can be used in facility-based QI, CSCs, and PBF schemes; (2) surveying RMC and maternal health experts to rank indicators, and (3) analyzing survey data to select the most recommended indicators.
Results: We identified 49 indicators spanning several domains of RMC and mistreatment including dignified/nondignified care, verbal and physical abuse, privacy/confidentiality, autonomy/loss of autonomy, supportive care/lack thereof, communication, stigma, discrimination, trust, facility environment/culture, responsiveness, and nonevidence-based care. Based on the analysis of the survey data, we recommend 33 indicators (between 2 and 6 indicators for each RMC domain) that may be suited for incorporation in both facility-based QI and CSC-related monitoring efforts.
Conclusion: Integrating RMC indicators into QI and CSC initiatives, as well as in other maternal and neonatal health programs, could help improve RMC at the facility and community level. More research is needed into whether RMC can be integrated into PBF initiatives. Integration of RMC indicators into programs to improve quality of care and other health system outcomes will facilitate routine monitoring and accountability around experience of care. Measurement and improvement of women’s experiences will increase maternal health service utilization and improve quality of care as a means of reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.
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