Effects of selected socio-demographic characteristics of community health workers on performance of home visits during pregnancy: a cross-sectional study in Busia District, Kenya.
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OBJECTIVE: Appropriate performance of home visits facilitates adoption of best practices at home and increased demand for facility based services. METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study in which community health workers were observed conducting home visits during pregnancy. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire and the Consultant Quality Index (CQI-2 tool) on record keeping, use of job aids, counselling, client satisfaction and client enablement. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used. Relationships were determined using chi square and odds ratios. RESULTS: The study showed significant relationships of age with good record keeping (p = 0.0001), appropriate use of job aids (p=0.0001), client satisfaction (p = 0.018) and client enablement (p = 0.001). Male CHWs were 1.6 times more likely to keep better records than females (OR 1.64 CI (1.02-2.63), while females were more likely to counsel and enable their clients OR 0.42 CI (0.25-0.71) and OR 0.29 CI (012-070) respectively when compared to men. Moreover, higher levels of education were associated with good record keeping OR 0.30 CI (0.19-0.49), p=0.0001; appropriate use of job aids OR 0.30 CI (0.15-0.61) and to appropriately counsel their clients OR 0.34 CI (0.20-0.58) than their lower literacy level counterparts. Experience of CHWs was associated with appropriate use of job aids (p = 0.049); client satisfaction (p = 0.0001) and client enablement (p = 0.032). CONCLUSIONS: Socio-demographic characteristics of community health workers affect the performance of home visits in various ways. The study also confirmed that CHWs with lower literacy levels satisfy and enable their clients effectively.