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1.  Community mobilisation and health management committee strengthening to increase birth attendance by trained health workers in rural Makwanpur, Nepal: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2011;12:128.
Birth attendance by trained health workers is low in rural Nepal. Local participation in improving health services and increased interaction between health systems and communities may stimulate demand for health services. Significant increases in birth attendance by trained health workers may be affected through community mobilisation by local women's groups and health management committee strengthening. We will test the effect of community mobilisation through women's groups, and health management committee strengthening, on institutional deliveries and home deliveries attended by trained health workers in Makwanpur District.
Cluster randomised controlled trial involving 43 village development committee clusters. 21 clusters will receive the intervention and 22 clusters will serve as control areas. In intervention areas, Female Community Health Volunteers are supported in convening monthly women's groups. The groups work through an action research cycle in which they consider barriers to institutional delivery, plan and implement strategies to address these barriers with their communities, and evaluate their progress. Health management committees participate in three-day workshops that use appreciative inquiry methods to explore and plan ways to improve maternal and newborn health services. Follow-up meetings are conducted every three months to review progress. Primary outcomes are institutional deliveries and home deliveries conducted by trained health workers. Secondary outcome measures include uptake of antenatal and postnatal care, neonatal mortality and stillbirth rates, and maternal morbidity.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC3121607  PMID: 21595902
2.  Behaviour change in perinatal care practices among rural women exposed to a women's group intervention in Nepal [ISRCTN31137309] 
A randomised controlled trial of participatory women's groups in rural Nepal previously showed reductions in maternal and newborn mortality. In addition to the outcome data we also collected previously unreported information from the subgroup of women who had been pregnant prior to study commencement and conceived during the trial period. To determine the mechanisms via which the intervention worked we here examine the changes in perinatal care of these women. In particular we use the information to study factors affecting positive behaviour change in pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care.
Women's groups focusing on perinatal care were introduced into 12 of 24 study clusters (average cluster population 7000). A total of 5400 women of reproductive age enrolled in the trial had previously been pregnant and conceived during the trial period.
For each of four outcomes (attendance at antenatal care; use of a boiled blade to cut the cord; appropriate dressing of the cord; not discarding colostrum) each of these women was classified as BETTER, GOOD, BAD or WORSE to describe whether and how she changed her pre-trial practice. Multilevel multinomial models were used to identify women most responsive to intervention.
Among those not initially following good practice, women in intervention areas were significantly more likely to do so later for all four outcomes (OR 1.92 to 3.13). Within intervention clusters, women who attended groups were more likely to show a positive change than non-group members with regard to antenatal care utilisation and not discarding colostrum, but non-group members also benefited.
Women's groups promoted significant behaviour change for perinatal care amongst women not previously following good practice. Positive changes attributable to intervention were not restricted to specific demographic subgroups.
PMCID: PMC1513253  PMID: 16776818

Results 1-2 (2)