Action Research and Training for Health ARTH

Udaipur, India

Action Research and Training for Health ARTH

Udaipur, India

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Iyengar K.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH | Iyengar K.,Karolinska Institutet | Pelto P.,University of Connecticut | Iyengar S.D.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH
Qualitative Health Research | Year: 2016

Although more maternal deaths occur in the postpartum period, this period receives far less attention from the program managers. To understand how the women and their families perceive postpartum health problems, the culturally derived restrictions, and precautions controlling diets and behavior patterns, we conducted a mixed-method study in Rajasthan, India. The study methods included free listing of maternal morbidity conditions, interviews with 81 recently delivered women, case interviews with eight cases of huwa rog (postpartum illness), and interviews with nine key informants. The study showed that huwa rog refers to a broad category of serious postpartum illness, thought to affect women a few weeks to several months after delivery. Prevention of the illness involves a system of precautions referred to as parhej, which includes a distinctive set of "medicinal dietary items" referred to as desi dawai, or "country medicine," and restrictions about mobility and work patterns of a postpartum woman. This cultural framework around the concept of huwa rog and peoples' beliefs about it are of central importance for planning postpartum health interventions, including place of contact and communication messages. © SAGE Publications.


Iyengar K.,Karolinska University Hospital | Iyengar K.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH | Paul M.,Uppsala University | Iyengar S.D.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH | And 6 more authors.
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2015

Background: The need for multiple clinical visits remains a barrier to women accessing safe legal medical abortion services. Alternatives to routine clinic follow-up visits have not been assessed in rural low-resource settings. We compared the effectiveness of standard clinic follow-up versus home assessment of outcome of medical abortion in a low-resource setting. Methods: This randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial was done in six health centres (three rural, three urban) in Rajasthan, India. Women seeking early medical abortion up to 9 weeks of gestation were randomly assigned (1:1) to either routine clinic follow-up or self-assessment at home. Randomisation was done with a computer-generated randomisation sequence, with a block size of six. The study was not blinded. Women in the home-assessment group were advised to use a pictorial instruction sheet and take a low-sensitivity urine pregnancy test at home, 10-14 days after intake of mifepristone, and were contacted by a home visit or telephone call to record the outcome of the abortion. The primary (non-inferiority) outcome was complete abortion without continuing pregnancy or need for surgical evacuation or additional mifepristone and misoprostol. The non-inferiority margin for the risk difference was 5%. All participants with a reported primary outcome and who followed the clinical protocol were included in the analysis. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01827995. Findings: Between April 23, 2013, and May 15, 2014, 731 women were recruited and assigned to clinic follow-up (n=366) or home assessment (n=365), of whom 700 were analysed for the main outcomes (n=336 and n=364, respectively). Complete abortion without continuing pregnancy, surgical intervention, or additional mifepristone and misoprostol was reported in 313 (93%) of 336 women in the clinic follow-up group and 347 (95%) of 364 women in the home-assessment group (difference -2·2%, 95% CI -5·9 to 1·6). One case of haemorrhage occurred in each group (rate of adverse events 0·3% in each group); no other adverse events were noted. Interpretation: Home assessment of medical abortion outcome with a low-sensitivity urine pregnancy test is non-inferior to clinic follow-up, and could be introduced instead of a clinic follow-up visit in a low-resource setting. Funding: Swedish Research Council and Swedish International Development Agency. © 2015 Iyengar et al. Open Access article published under the terms of CC BY.


Iyengar K.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH
Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition | Year: 2012

The first postpartum week is a high-risk period for mothers and newborns. Very few community-based studies have been conducted on patterns of maternal morbidity in resource-poor countries in that first week. An intervention on postpartum care for women within the first week after delivery was initiated in a rural area of Rajasthan, India. The intervention included a rigorous system of receiving reports of all deliveries in a defined population and providing home-level postpartum care to all women, irrespective of the place of delivery. Trained nurse-midwives used a structured checklist for detecting and managing maternal and neonatal conditions during postpartum-care visits. A total of 4,975 women, representing 87.1% of all expected deliveries in a population of 58,000, were examined in their first postpartum week during January 2007-December 2010. Haemoglobin was tested for 77.1% of women (n=3,836) who had a postnatal visit. The most common morbidity was postpartum anaemia-7.4% of women suffered from severe anaemia and 46% from moderate anaemia. Other common morbidities were fever (4%), breast conditions (4.9%), and perineal conditions (4.5%). Life-threatening postpartum morbidities were detected in 7.6% of women- 9.7% among those who had deliveries at home and 6.6% among those who had institutional deliveries. None had a fistula. Severe anaemia had a strong correlation with perinatal death [p<0.000, adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32-2.99], delivery at home [p<0.000, AOR=1.64 (95% CI 1.27-2.15)], socioeconomically-underprivileged scheduled caste or tribe [p<0.000, AOR=2.47 (95% CI 1.83-3.33)], and parity of three or more [p<0.000, AOR=1.52 (95% CI 1.18-1.97)]. The correlation with antenatal care was not significant. Perineal conditions were more frequent among women who had institutional deliveries while breast conditions were more common among those who had a perinatal death. This study adds valuable knowledge on postpartum morbidity affecting women in the first few days after delivery in a low-resource setting. Health programmes should invest to ensure that all women receive early postpartum visits after delivery at home and after discharge from institution to detect and manage maternal morbidity. Further, health programmes should also ensure that women are properly screened for complications before their discharge from hospitals after delivery.


Iyengar K.,Karolinska University Hospital | Iyengar K.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH | Klingberg-Allvin M.,Karolinska University Hospital | Klingberg-Allvin M.,Dalarna University | And 4 more authors.
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica | Year: 2016

Introduction Although home use of misoprostol for early medical abortion is considered to be safe, effective and feasible, it has not become standard service delivery practice. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy, safety, and acceptability of home use of misoprostol with clinic misoprostol in a low-resource setting. Material and methods This was a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial conducted in six primary care clinics in India. Women seeking medical abortion within up to nine gestational weeks (n = 731) received mifepristone in the clinic and were allocated either to home or clinic administration of misoprostol. Follow-up contact was after 10-15 days. Results Of 731 participants, 73% were from rural areas and 55% had no formal education. Complete abortion rates in the home and clinic misoprostol groups were 94.2 and 94.4%, respectively. The rate of adverse events was similar in both groups (0.3%). A greater proportion of home users (90.2%) said that they would opt for misoprostol at home in the event of a future abortion compared with clinic users (79.7%) who would opt for misoprostol at the clinic in a similar situation (p = 0.0002). Ninety-six percent women using misoprostol at home or in the clinic were satisfied with their abortion experience. Conclusions Home-use of misoprostol for early medical abortion is as effective and acceptable as clinic use, in low resource settings. Women should be offered a choice of this option regardless of distance of their residence from the clinic and communication facilities. © 2015 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Paul M.,Uppsala University | Iyengar K.,Karolinska University Hospital | Iyengar K.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH | Essen B.,Karolinska University Hospital | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Studies evaluating acceptability of simplified follow-up after medical abortion have focused on high-resource or urban settings where telephones, road connections, and modes of transport are available and where women have formal education. Objective: To investigate women's acceptability of home-assessment of abortion and whether acceptability of medical abortion differs by in-clinic or home-assessment of abortion outcome in a low-resource setting in India. Design: Secondary outcome of a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial. Setting: Outpatient primary health care clinics in rural and urban Rajasthan, India. Population: Women were eligible if they sought abortion with a gestation up to 9 weeks, lived within defined study area and agreed to follow-up. Women were ineligible if they had known contraindications to medical abortion, haemoglobin < 85mg/l and were below 18 years. Methods: Abortion outcome assessment through routine clinic follow-up by a doctor was compared with home-assessment using a low-sensitivity pregnancy test and a pictorial instruction sheet. A computerized random number generator generated the randomisation sequence (1:1) in blocks of six. Research assistants randomly allocated eligible women who opted for medical abortion (mifepristone and misoprostol), using opaque sealed envelopes. Blinding during outcome assessment was not possible. Main Outcome Measures: Women's acceptability of home-assessment was measured as future preference of followup. Overall satisfaction, expectations, and comparison with previous abortion experiences were compared between study groups. Results: 731 women were randomized to the clinic follow-up group (n = 353) or home-assessment group (n = 378). 623 (85%) women were successfully followed up, of those 597 (96%) were satisfied and 592 (95%) found the abortion better or as expected, with no difference between study groups. The majority, 355 (57%) women, preferred home-assessment in the event of a future abortion. Significantly more women, 284 (82%), in the home-assessment group preferred home-assessment in the future, as compared with 188 (70%) of women in the clinic follow-up group, who preferred clinic follow-up in the future (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Home-assessment is highly acceptable among women in low-resource, and rural, settings. The choice to follow-up an early medical abortion according to women's preference should be offered to foster women's reproductive autonomy. © 2015 Paul et al.


Paul M.,Uppsala University | Iyengar S.D.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH | Essen B.,Uppsala University | Gemzell-Danielsson K.,Karolinska University Hospital | And 5 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2016

Background: Post-abortion contraceptive use in India is low and the use of modern methods of contraception is rare, especially in rural areas. This study primarily compares contraceptive use among women whose abortion outcome was assessed in-clinic with women who assessed their abortion outcome at home, in a low-resource, primary health care setting. Moreover, it investigates how background characteristics and abortion service provision influences contraceptive use post-abortion. Methods: A randomized controlled, non-inferiority, trial (RCT) compared clinic follow-up with home-assessment of abortion outcome at 2 weeks post-abortion. Additionally, contraceptive-use at 3 months post-abortion was investigated through a cross-sectional follow-up interview with a largely urban sub-sample of women from the RCT. Women seeking abortion with a gestational age of up to 9 weeks and who agreed to a 2-week follow-up were included (n = 731). Women with known contraindications to medical abortions, Hb < 85 mg/l and aged below 18 were excluded. Data were collected between April 2013 and August 2014 in six primary health-care clinics in Rajasthan. A computerised random number generator created the randomisation sequence (1:1) in blocks of six. Contraceptive use was measured at 2 weeks among women successfully followed-up (n = 623) and 3 months in the sub-set of women who were included if they were recruited at one of the urban study sites, owned a phone and agreed to a 3-month follow-up (n = 114). Results: There were no differences between contraceptive use and continuation between study groups at 3 months (76 % clinic follow-up, 77 % home-assessment), however women in the clinic follow-up group were most likely to adopt a contraceptive method at 2 weeks (62 ± 12 %), while women in the home-assessment group were most likely to adopt a method after next menstruation (60 ± 13 %). Fifty-two per cent of women who initiated a method at 2 weeks chose the 3-month injection or the copper intrauterine device. Only 4 % of women preferred sterilization. Caste, educational attainment, or type of residence did not influence contraceptive use. Conclusions: Simplified follow-up after early medical abortion will not change women's opportunities to access contraception in a low-resource setting, if contraceptive services are provided as intra-abortion services as early as on day one. Women's postabortion contraceptive use at 3 months is unlikely to be affected by mode of followup after medical abortion, also in a low-resource setting. Clinical guidelines need to encourage intra-abortion contraception, offering the full spectrum of evidence-based methods, especially long-acting reversible methods. © 2016 The Author(s).


Iyengar K.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH | Yadav R.,Community Empowerment Laboratory | Sen S.,Action Research and Training for Health ARTH
Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition | Year: 2012

Maternal complications are common during and following childbirth. However, little information is available on the psychological, social and economic consequences of maternal complications on women's lives, especially in a rural setting. A prospective cohort study was conducted in southern Rajasthan, India, among rural women who had a severe or less-severe, or no complication at the time of delivery or in the immediate postpartum period. In total, 1,542 women, representing 93% of all women who delivered in the field area over a 15-month period and were examined in the first week postpartum by nurse-midwives, were followed up to 12 months to record maternal and child survival. Of them, a subset of 430 women was followed up at 6-8 weeks and 12 months to capture data on the physical, psychological, social, or economic consequences. Women with severe maternal complications around the time of delivery and in the immediate postpartum period experienced an increased risk of mortality and morbidity in the first postpartum year: 2.8% of the women with severe complications died within one year compared to none with uncomplicated delivery. Women with severe complications also had higher rates of perinatal mortality [adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=3.98, confidence interval (CI) 1.96-8.1, p=0.000] and mortality of babies aged eight days to 12 months (AOR=3.14, CI 1.4-7.06, p=0.004). Compared to women in the uncomplicated group, women with severe complications were at a higher risk of depression at eight weeks and 12 months with perceived physical symptoms, had a greater difficulty in completing daily household work, and had important financial repercussions. The results suggest that women with severe complications at the time of delivery need to be provided regular follow-up services for their physical and psychological problems till about 12 months after childbirth. They also might benefit from financial support during several months in the postpartum period to prevent severe economic consequences. Further research is needed to identify an effective package of services for women in the first year after delivery.


PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, Uppsala University, Action Research and Training for Health ARTH, Statisticon and Karolinska University Hospital
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Lancet. Global health | Year: 2015

The need for multiple clinical visits remains a barrier to women accessing safe legal medical abortion services. Alternatives to routine clinic follow-up visits have not been assessed in rural low-resource settings. We compared the effectiveness of standard clinic follow-up versus home assessment of outcome of medical abortion in a low-resource setting.This randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial was done in six health centres (three rural, three urban) in Rajasthan, India. Women seeking early medical abortion up to 9 weeks of gestation were randomly assigned (1:1) to either routine clinic follow-up or self-assessment at home. Randomisation was done with a computer-generated randomisation sequence, with a block size of six. The study was not blinded. Women in the home-assessment group were advised to use a pictorial instruction sheet and take a low-sensitivity urine pregnancy test at home, 10-14 days after intake of mifepristone, and were contacted by a home visit or telephone call to record the outcome of the abortion. The primary (non-inferiority) outcome was complete abortion without continuing pregnancy or need for surgical evacuation or additional mifepristone and misoprostol. The non-inferiority margin for the risk difference was 5%. All participants with a reported primary outcome and who followed the clinical protocol were included in the analysis. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01827995.Between April 23, 2013, and May 15, 2014, 731 women were recruited and assigned to clinic follow-up (n=366) or home assessment (n=365), of whom 700 were analysed for the main outcomes (n=336 and n=364, respectively). Complete abortion without continuing pregnancy, surgical intervention, or additional mifepristone and misoprostol was reported in 313 (93%) of 336 women in the clinic follow-up group and 347 (95%) of 364 women in the home-assessment group (difference -22%, 95% CI -59 to 16). One case of haemorrhage occurred in each group (rate of adverse events 03% in each group); no other adverse events were noted.Home assessment of medical abortion outcome with a low-sensitivity urine pregnancy test is non-inferior to clinic follow-up, and could be introduced instead of a clinic follow-up visit in a low-resource setting.


PubMed | University of Minnesota, Stanford University and Action Research and Training for Health ARTH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Violence against women | Year: 2015

We used qualitative methodologies to understand perceptions regarding options available for victims of physical intimate partner violence (IPV) in northern India. We interviewed male and female community members along with IPV experts. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using grounded theory. Participants emphasized that a victim of physical IPV should bear the violence, modify her husbands behaviors, or seek help from her natal family. Accessing external resources such as the police or nongovernmental organizations was viewed as both socially inappropriate and infeasible. These results have widespread implications and lay the foundation for the development of IPV prevention initiatives in India.


PubMed | Action Research and Training for Health ARTH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of health, population, and nutrition | Year: 2012

The first postpartum week is a high-risk period for mothers and newborns. Very few community-based studies have been conducted on patterns of maternal morbidity in resource-poor countries in that first week. An intervention on postpartum care for women within the first week after delivery was initiated in a rural area of Rajasthan, India. The intervention included a rigorous system of receiving reports of all deliveries in a defined population and providing home-level postpartum care to all women, irrespective of the place of delivery. Trained nurse-midwives used a structured checklist for detecting and managing maternal and neonatal conditions during postpartum-care visits. A total of 4,975 women, representing 87.1% of all expected deliveries in a population of 58,000, were examined in their first postpartum week during January 2007-December 2010. Haemoglobin was tested for 77.1% of women (n=3,836) who had a postnatal visit. The most common morbidity was postpartum anaemia--7.4% of women suffered from severe anaemia and 46% from moderate anaemia. Other common morbidities were fever (4%), breast conditions (4.9%), and perineal conditions (4.5%). Life-threatening postpartum morbidities were detected in 7.6% of women--9.7% among those who had deliveries at home and 6.6% among those who had institutional deliveries. None had a fistula. Severe anaemia had a strong correlation with perinatal death [p<0.000, adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32-2.99], delivery at home [p<0.000, AOR=1.64 (95% CI 1.27-2.15)], socioeconomically-underprivileged scheduled caste or tribe [p<0.000, AOR=2.47 (95% CI 1.83-3.33)], and parity of three or more [p<0.000, AOR=1.52 (95% CI 1.18-1.97)]. The correlation with antenatal care was not significant. Perineal conditions were more frequent among women who had institutional deliveries while breast conditions were more common among those who had a perinatal death. This study adds valuable knowledge on postpartum morbidity affecting women in the first few days after delivery in a low-resource setting. Health programmes should invest to ensure that all women receive early postpartum visits after delivery at home and after discharge from institution to detect and manage maternal morbidity. Further, health programmes should also ensure that women are properly screened for complications before their discharge from hospitals after delivery.

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