A prospective validation study in South-West Nigeria on caregiver report of childhood pneumonia and antibiotic treatment using Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) questions.
ABSTRACT: Childhood pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children under five worldwide. Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) provide health information on care sought for sick children in resource poor settings. Despite not being primarily designed to identify childhood pneumonia, there are concerns that reported episodes of "symptoms of acute respiratory infection" in DHS and MICS are often interpreted by other groups as a "proxy" for childhood pneumonia. Using DHS5 and MICS5 survey tools, this study aimed to assess how accurately caregivers report of "symptoms of acute respiratory infection" reflect pneumonia episodes and antibiotic use in children under five.Children aged 0 to 59 months presenting with cough and/or difficult breathing were recruited from four study hospitals in Ibadan, Nigeria from August 2015 to March 2017. Children were assessed using World Health Organization (WHO) standard criteria by study physicians to identify whether they had pneumonia. Three hundred and two matched children in each category of 'pneumonia' and "no pneumonia" were followed up at home, either two or eight weeks later, using questions from DHS5 and MICS5 surveys to assess the accuracy of caregiver recall of pneumonia.The specificity of DHS5 and MICS5 questions for identifying childhood pneumonia were 87.4 (95% confidence interval (CI)?=?83.1-91.0) and 86.1 (95% CI?=?81.7-89.8) respectively and the sensitivity of questions were 37.1 (95% CI?=?31.6-42.8) and 37.1 (95% CI?=?31.6-42.8). Correct recall of antibiotic treatment was poor (kappa statistic?=?0.064) but improved with the use of medicine pill boards (kappa statistic?=?0.235).DHS5 and MICS5 survey questions are not designed to identify childhood pneumonia and this study confirms that they do not accurately discern episodes of childhood pneumonia from cough/cold in children under five. The proportion of pneumonia episodes appropriately treated with antibiotics cannot be accurately assessed using current DHS and MICS surveys. If these results are used to guide programmatic decisions, it is likely to encourage overuse and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for episodes of cough/cold. International agencies who continue to use these household data to monitor the proportion of children with pneumonia who receive antibiotic treatment should be discouraged from doing this as these data are likely to mislead national and global programmes. Medicine pill boards are used in a number of DHS surveys and should be promoted for wider use in national population surveys to improve the accuracy of antibiotic recall.
Project description:Antibiotic treatment for pneumonia as measured by Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) is a key indicator for tracking progress in achieving Millennium Development Goal 4. Concerns about the validity of this indicator led us to perform an evaluation in urban and rural settings in Pakistan and Bangladesh.Caregivers of 950 children under 5 y with pneumonia and 980 with "no pneumonia" were identified in urban and rural settings and allocated for DHS/MICS questions 2 or 4 wk later. Study physicians assigned a diagnosis of pneumonia as reference standard; the predictive ability of DHS/MICS questions and additional measurement tools to identify pneumonia versus non-pneumonia cases was evaluated. Results at both sites showed suboptimal discriminative power, with no difference between 2- or 4-wk recall. Individual patterns of sensitivity and specificity varied substantially across study sites (sensitivity 66.9% and 45.5%, and specificity 68.8% and 69.5%, for DHS in Pakistan and Bangladesh, respectively). Prescribed antibiotics for pneumonia were correctly recalled by about two-thirds of caregivers using DHS questions, increasing to 72% and 82% in Pakistan and Bangladesh, respectively, using a drug chart and detailed enquiry.Monitoring antibiotic treatment of pneumonia is essential for national and global programs. Current (DHS/MICS questions) and proposed new (video and pneumonia score) methods of identifying pneumonia based on maternal recall discriminate poorly between pneumonia and children with cough. Furthermore, these methods have a low yield to identify children who have true pneumonia. Reported antibiotic treatment rates among these children are therefore not a valid proxy indicator of pneumonia treatment rates. These results have important implications for program monitoring and suggest that data in its current format from DHS/MICS surveys should not be used for the purpose of monitoring antibiotic treatment rates in children with pneumonia at the present time.
Project description:Background:This study aimed to investigate the differences in reported care seeking behaviour and treatment between children with pneumonia and children without pneumonia with cough and/or difficult breathing. Methods:Three hundred and two children aged 0-59 months with fast breathing pneumonia were matched with 302 children seeking care for cough and/or difficult breathing at four outpatient clinics in Ibadan, Nigeria. After follow up at home, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) questionnaires were administered in the community by trained field workers to gather information around care seeking delay, patterns of care seeking, appropriateness of care seeking and treatment provided once care was sought. Multivariable analysis was carried out to determine significant factors associated with care seeking delay. Results:Children with pneumonia had a significantly longer delay (median?=?3d) before seeking care than those without pneumonia (median?=?2d; P?=?0.001). The length of the delay was 21% (95% confidence interval (CI)?=?1%-42%) greater in those aged 0-1 month and 11% (95% CI?=?5%-42%) greater in those aged 2-11 months compared to those aged 12-59 months. The length of delay was 17% (95% CI?=?5%-30%) greater in rural locations than urban ones, and 33% (95% CI?=?7%-51%) shorter in fathers with only primary education compared to higher education, adjusted for covariates. The range of places where care was sought showed the same distribution in those with and without pneumonia. Twenty two per cent of those with pneumonia sought care first from inappropriate providers. The number of children for whom caregivers reported having received antibiotic treatment was 92% for those with pneumonia and 84% for those without pneumonia. Conclusions:Given that children with pneumonia and cough/cold had similar patterns of reported care seeking information gathered on care seeking (type of provider visited) from DHS and MICS surveys on those with 'symptoms of acute respiratory infection' in this setting provide a reasonably valid indication of care seeking behaviours in children with pneumonia. There are high levels of antibiotic overuse for children with cough/cold in this setting which risks worsening antibiotic resistance.
Project description:Community case management (CCM) is a strategy for training and supporting workers at the community level to provide treatment for the three major childhood diseases--diarrhea, fever (indicative of malaria), and pneumonia--as a complement to facility-based care. Many low- and middle-income countries are now implementing CCM and need to evaluate whether adoption of the strategy is associated with increases in treatment coverage. In this review, we assess the extent to which large-scale, national household surveys can serve as sources of baseline data for evaluating trends in community-based treatment coverage for childhood illnesses. Our examination of the questionnaires used in Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) conducted between 2005 and 2010 in five sub-Saharan African countries shows that questions on care seeking that included a locally adapted option for a community-based provider were present in all the DHS surveys and in some MICS surveys. Most of the surveys also assessed whether appropriate treatments were available, but only one survey collected information on the place of treatment for all three illnesses. This absence of baseline data on treatment source in household surveys will limit efforts to evaluate the effects of the introduction of CCM strategies in the study countries. We recommend alternative analysis plans for assessing CCM programs using household survey data that depend on baseline data availability and on the timing of CCM policy implementation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Diarrhoeal outcomes in children are often ascertained using caregiver-reported symptoms, which are subject to a variety of biases and methodological challenges. One source of bias is the time window used for reporting diarrhoeal illness and the ability of caregivers to accurately recall episodes in children. METHODS:Diarrhoea period prevalence in children under five was determined using two similarly administered, nationally representative household surveys: Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) (1-week recall, N = 14 603) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) (2-week recall, N = 66 717). Countries included in the analysis were the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Diarrhoea period prevalence estimates were compared and water, sanitation and hygiene risk factors were analysed. RESULTS:Childhood diarrhoea prevalence using 1-week recall (PMA2020) pooled across countries was 21.4% [95% confidence interval (CI): 19.9%, 22.9%] versus 16.0% using 2-week recall (DHS) (95% CI: 15.4%, 16.5%). In stratified analyses for all five countries, the number of diarrhoea cases detected was consistently higher using 1-week recall versus 2-week recall. The key risk factors identified in the PMA2020 data that were not associated with diarrhoeal episodes or were attenuated in the DHS data included: the main sanitation classifications for households, disposal method used for child faeces, number of household members and wealth quintiles. CONCLUSIONS:For nationally representative household surveys assessing childhood diarrhoea period prevalence, a 2-week recall period may underestimate diarrhoea prevalence compared with a 1-week period. The household sanitation facility and practices remain key risk factors for diarrhoeal disease in children under five.
Project description:In 2009, a common set of questions addressing handwashing behavior was introduced into nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), providing large amounts of comparable data from numerous countries worldwide. The objective of this analysis is to describe global handwashing patterns using two proxy indicators for handwashing behavior from 51 DHS and MICS surveys conducted in 2010-2013: availability of soap anywhere in the dwelling and access to a handwashing place with soap and water. Data were also examined across geographic regions, wealth quintiles, and rural versus urban settings. We found large disparities for both indicators across regions, and even among countries within the same World Health Organization region. Within countries, households in lower wealth quintiles and in rural areas were less likely to have soap anywhere in the dwelling and at designated handwashing locations than households in higher wealth quintiles and urban areas. In addition, disparities existed among various geographic regions within countries. This analysis demonstrates the need to promote access to handwashing materials and placement at handwashing locations in the dwelling, particularly in poorer, rural areas where children are more vulnerable to handwashing-preventable syndromes such as pneumonia and diarrhea.
Project description:There has been limited work comparing survey characteristics and assessing the quality of child anthropometric data from population-based surveys.To investigate survey characteristics and indicators of quality of anthropometric data in children aged 0-59 months from 23 countries in the West Central Africa region.Using established methodologies and criteria to examine child age, sex, height, and weight, we conducted a comprehensive assessment and scoring of the quality of anthropometric data collected in 100 national surveys.The Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) collected data from a greater number of younger children than older children while the opposite was found for the National Nutrition Surveys (NNS). Missing or implausible height/weight data proportions were 12% and 8% in MICS and DHS compared to 3% in NNS. Average data quality scores were 14 in NNS, 33 in DHS, and 41 in MICS.Although our metric of data quality suggests that data from the NNS appear more consistent and robust, it is equally important to consider its disadvantages related to access and lack of broader socioeconomic information. In comparison, the DHS and MICS are publicly-accessable for research and provide socioeconomic context essential for assessing and addressing the burden of undernutrition within and between countries. The strengths and weaknesses of data from these three sources should be carefully considered when seeking to determine the burden of child undernutrition and its variation within countries.
Project description:The development of cognitive and socioemotional skills early in life influences later health and well-being. Existing estimates of unmet developmental potential in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are based on either measures of physical growth or proxy measures such as poverty. In this paper we aim to directly estimate the number of children in LMICs who would be reported by their caregivers to show low cognitive and/or socioemotional development.The present paper uses Early Childhood Development Index (ECDI) data collected between 2005 and 2015 from 99,222 3- and 4-y-old children living in 35 LMICs as part of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) programs. First, we estimate the prevalence of low cognitive and/or socioemotional ECDI scores within our MICS/DHS sample. Next, we test a series of ordinary least squares regression models predicting low ECDI scores across our MICS/DHS sample countries based on country-level data from the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Nutrition Impact Model Study. We use cross-validation to select the model with the best predictive validity. We then apply this model to all LMICs to generate country-level estimates of the prevalence of low ECDI scores globally, as well as confidence intervals around these estimates. In the pooled MICS and DHS sample, 14.6% of children had low ECDI scores in the cognitive domain, 26.2% had low socioemotional scores, and 36.8% performed poorly in either or both domains. Country-level prevalence of low cognitive and/or socioemotional scores on the ECDI was best represented by a model using the HDI as a predictor. Applying this model to all LMICs, we estimate that 80.8 million children ages 3 and 4 y (95% CI 48.1 million, 113.6 million) in LMICs experienced low cognitive and/or socioemotional development in 2010, with the largest number of affected children in sub-Saharan Africa (29.4.1 million; 43.8% of children ages 3 and 4 y), followed by South Asia (27.7 million; 37.7%) and the East Asia and Pacific region (15.1 million; 25.9%). Positive associations were found between low development scores and stunting, poverty, male sex, rural residence, and lack of cognitive stimulation. Additional research using more detailed developmental assessments across a larger number of LMICs is needed to address the limitations of the present study.The number of children globally failing to reach their developmental potential remains large. Additional research is needed to identify the specific causes of poor developmental outcomes in diverse settings, as well as potential context-specific interventions that might promote children's early cognitive and socioemotional well-being.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization's (WHO) case definition for childhood pneumonia, composed of simple clinical signs of cough, difficult breathing and fast breathing, is widely used in resource poor settings to guide management of acute respiratory infections. The definition is also commonly used as an entry criteria or endpoint in different intervention and disease burden studies. METHODS: A group of paediatricians conducted a retrospective review of clinical and laboratory data including C-reactive protein concentration and chest radiograph findings among Filipino children hospitalised in the Bohol Regional Hospital who were enrolled in a pneumococcal vaccine efficacy study and had an episode of respiratory disease fulfilling the WHO case definition for clinical pneumonia. Our aim was to evaluate which disease entities the WHO definition actually captures and what is the probable aetiology of respiratory infections among these episodes diagnosed in this population. RESULTS: Among the 12,194 children enrolled to the vaccine study we recorded 1,195 disease episodes leading to hospitalisation which fulfilled the WHO criteria for pneumonia. In total, 34% of these episodes showed radiographic evidence of pneumonia and 11% were classified as definitive or probable bacterial pneumonia. Over 95% of episodes of WHO-defined severe pneumonia (with chest indrawing) had an acute lower respiratory infection as final diagnosis whereas 34% of those with non-severe clinical pneumonia had gastroenteritis or other non-respiratory infection as main cause of hospitalisation. CONCLUSION: The WHO definition for severe pneumonia shows high specificity for acute lower respiratory infection and provides a tool to compare the total burden of lower respiratory infections in different settings. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN62323832.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Pneumonia is the most common bacterial infection in children at the emergency department (ED). Clinical prediction models for childhood pneumonia have been developed (using chest x-ray as their reference standard), but without implementation in clinical practice. Given current insights in the diagnostic limitations of chest x-ray, this study aims to validate these prediction models for a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, and to explore their potential to guide decisions on antibiotic treatment at the ED. METHODS:We systematically identified clinical prediction models for childhood pneumonia and assessed their quality. We evaluated the validity of these models in two populations, using a clinical reference standard (1. definite/probable bacterial, 2. bacterial syndrome, 3. unknown bacterial/viral, 4. viral syndrome, 5. definite/probable viral), measuring performance by the ordinal c-statistic (ORC). Validation populations included prospectively collected data of children aged 1 month to 5 years attending the ED of Rotterdam (2012-2013) or Coventry (2005-2006) with fever and cough or dyspnoea. RESULTS:We identified eight prediction models and could evaluate the validity of seven, with original good performance. In the Dutch population 22/248 (9%) had a bacterial infection, in Coventry 53/301 (17%), antibiotic prescription was 21% and 35% respectively. Three models predicted a higher risk in children with bacterial infections than in those with viral disease (ORC ?0.55) and could identify children at low risk of bacterial infection. CONCLUSIONS:Three clinical prediction models for childhood pneumonia could discriminate fairly well between a clinical reference standard of bacterial versus viral infection. However, they all require the measurement of biomarkers, raising questions on the exact target population when implementing these models in clinical practice. Moreover, choosing optimal thresholds to guide antibiotic prescription is challenging and requires careful consideration of potential harms and benefits.
Project description:The postnatal period represents a vulnerable phase for mothers and newborns where both face increased risk of morbidity and death. WHO recommends postnatal care (PNC) for mothers and newborns to include a first contact within 24 hours following the birth of the child. However, measuring coverage of PNC in household surveys has been variable over time. The two largest household survey programs in low and middle-income countries, the UNICEF-supported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and USAID-funded Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), now include modules that capture these measures. However, the measurement approach is slightly different between the two programs. We attempt to assess the possible measurement differences that might affect comparability of coverage measures.We first review the standard questionnaires of the two survey programs to compare approaches to collecting data on postnatal contacts for mothers and newborns. We then illustrate how the approaches used can affect PNC coverage estimates by analysing data from four countries; Bangladesh, Ghana, Kygyz Republic, and Nepal, with both MICS and DHS between 2010-2015.We found that tools implemented todate by MICS and DHS (up to MICS round 5 and up to DHS phase 6) have collected PNC information in different ways. While MICS dedicated a full module to PNC and distinguishes immediate vs later PNC, DHS implemented a more blended module of pregnancy and postnatal and did not systematically distinguish those phases. The two survey programs differred in the way questions on postnatal care for mothers and newbors were framed. Subsequently, MICS and DHS surveys followed different methodological approach to compute the global indicator of postnatal contacts for mothers and newborns within two days following delivery. Regardless of the place of delivery, MICS estimates for postnatal contacts for mothers and newbors appeared consistently higher than those reported in DHS. The difference was however, far more pronounced in case of newborns.Difference in questionnaires and the methodology adopted to measure PNC have created comparability issues in the coverage levels. Harmonization of survey instruments on postnatal contacts will allow comparable and better assessment of coverage levels and trends.