Mixed methods lot quality assurance sampling: A novel, rapid methodology to inform equity focused maternal health programming in rural Rajasthan, India

Aneel Singh Brar*, Bethany L. Hedt-Gauthier, Lisa R. Hirschhorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

India has experienced a significant increase in facility-based delivery (FBD) coverage and reduction in maternal mortality. Nevertheless, India continues to have high levels of maternal health inequity. Improving equity requires data collection methods that can produce a better contextual understanding of how vulnerable populations access and interact with the health care system at a local level. While large population-level surveys are valuable, they are resource intensive and often lack the contextual specificity and timeliness to be useful for local health programming. Qualitative methods can be resource intensive and may lack generalizability. We describe an innovative mixed-methods application of Large Country-Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LC-LQAS) that provides local coverage data and qualitative insights for both FBD and antenatal care (ANC) in a low-cost and timely manner that is useful for health care providers working in specific contexts. LC-LQAS is a version of LQAS that combines LQAS for local level classification with multistage cluster sampling to obtain precise regional or national coverage estimates. We integrated qualitative questions to uncover mothers’ experiences accessing maternal health care in the rural district of Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India. We interviewed 313 recently delivered, low-income women in 18 subdistricts. All respondents participated in both qualitative and quantitative components. All subdistricts were classified as having high FBD coverage with the upper threshold set at 85%, suggesting that improved coverage has extended to vulnerable women. However, only two subdistricts were classified as high ANC coverage with the upper threshold set at 40%. Qualitative data revealed a severe lack of agency among respondents and that household norms of care seeking influenced uptake of ANC and FBD. We additionally report on implementation outcomes (acceptability, feasibility, appropriateness, effectiveness, fidelity, and cost) and how study results informed the programs of a local health non-profit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0250154
JournalPloS one
Volume16
Issue number4 April
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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