3 years ago

Behavior change communication activities improve infant and young child nutrition knowledge and practice of neighboring non-participants in a cluster-randomized trial in rural Bangladesh

Ishita Ahmed, Shalini Roy, John Hoddinott, Akhter Ahmed

by John Hoddinott, Ishita Ahmed, Akhter Ahmed, Shalini Roy

Objective

To examine the impact on infant and young child nutrition knowledge and practice of mothers who were neighbors of mothers participating in a nutrition Behavior Change Communication (BCC) intervention in rural Bangladesh.

Methods

We analyzed data from 300 mothers whose neighbor participated in a nutrition BCC intervention and 600 mothers whose neighbor participated in an intervention that did not include BCC. We constructed measures capturing mothers’ knowledge of infant and young child nutrition (IYCN) and measures of food consumption by children 6-24m. The effect on these outcomes of exposure to a neighbor receiving a nutrition BCC intervention was estimated using ordinary least squares and probit regressions. The study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (Study ID: NCT02237144).

Results

Having a neighboring mother participate in a nutrition BCC intervention increased non-participant mothers’ IYCN knowledge by 0.17 SD (translating to 0.3 more correct answers). They were 14.1 percentage points more likely to feed their 6-24m children legumes and nuts; 11.6 percentage points more likely to feed these children vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables; and 10.0 percentage points more likely to feed these children eggs. Children of non-participant mothers who had a neighboring mother participate in a nutrition BCC intervention were 13.8 percentage points more likely to meet World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for minimum diet diversity, 11.9 percentage points more likely to meet WHO guidelines for minimum acceptable diet, and 10.3 percentage points more likely to meet WHO guidelines for minimum meal frequency for children who continue to be breastfed after age 6m. Children aged 0-6m of non-participant mothers who are neighbors of mothers receiving BCC were 7.1 percentage points less likely to have ever consumed water-based liquids.

Conclusions

Studies of nutrition BCC that do not account for information spillovers to non-participants may underestimate its benefits in terms of IYCN knowledge and practice.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179866

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