To systematically identify global research gaps and resource priorities for integrated community case management (iCCM).
An iCCM Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) Advisory Group, in collaboration with the Community Case Management Operational Research Group (CCM ORG) identified experts to participate in a CHNRI research priority setting exercise. These experts generated and systematically ranked research questions for iCCM. Research questions were ranked using a “Research Priority Score” (RPS) and the “Average Expert Agreement” (AEA) was calculated for every question. Our groups of experts were comprised of both individuals working in Ministries of Health or Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in low– and middle–income countries (LMICs) and individuals working in high–income countries (HICs) in academia or NGO headquarters. A Spearman’s Rho was calculated to determine the correlation between the two groups’ research questions’ ranks.
The overall RPS ranged from 64.58 to 89.31, with a median score of 81.43. AEA scores ranged from 0.54 to 0.86. Research questions involving increasing the uptake of iCCM services, research questions concerning the motivation, retention, training and supervision of Community Health Workers (CHWs) and concerning adding additional responsibilities including counselling for infant and young child feeding (IYCF) and treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) ranked highly. There was weak to moderate, statistically significant, correlation between scores by representatives of high–income countries and those working in–country or regionally (Spearman’s ρ=0.35034, P<0.01).
Operational research to determine optimal training, supervision and modes of motivation and retention for the CHW is vital for improving iCCM, globally, as is research to motivate caregivers to take advantage of iCCM services. Experts working in–country or regionally in LMICs prioritized different research questions than those working in organization headquarters in HICs. Further exploration is needed to determine the nature of this divergence.
This article co-authored by Malaria Consortium staff is published by the Journal of Global Health in a Decemeber 2014 special supplement on current scientific evidence and future directions for integrated community case management in Africa.
Citation: Wazny, Kerri, et al.Keywords: Community delivery | Research | Diagnosis | iCCM | Treatment | SDGs
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