BioScience Trends. 2018;12(2):116-125. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2018.01070)

Interventions integrating non-communicable disease prevention and reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health: A systematic review.

Kikuchi K, Ayer R, Okawa S, Nishikitani M, Yokota F, Jimba M, Nakashima N


Reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) care services could be critical entry points for preventing non-communicable diseases in women and children. In high-income countries, non-communicable diseases screening has been integrated into both the medical and public health systems. To integrate these services in low- and middle-income countries, it is necessary to closely examine its effectiveness and feasibility. In this systematic review, we evaluated the effectiveness of integrating gestational and non-gestational non-communicable diseases interventions and RMNCH care among women and children in low- and middle-income countries. This systematic review included randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials published from 2000 to 2015. Participants included reproductive-age women, children < 5 years old, and RMNCH care providers. The included interventions comprised packaged care/services that integrated RMNCH services with non-communicable disease care. The outcomes were maternal and/or infant mortality and complications, as well as health care service coverage. We analyzed six studies from 7,949 retrieved articles. Yoga exercise (p < 0.01) and nutritional improvements (p < 0.05) were effective in reducing gestational hypertension and diabetes. Additionally, integrating cervical cancer and RMNCH services was useful for identifying potential cervical cancer cases. Interventions that integrate non-communicable disease care/screening and RMNCH care may positively impact the health of women and children in low- and middle-income countries. However, as primary evidence is scarce, further research on the effectiveness of integrating non-communicable disease prevention and RMNCH care is warranted. (Review Registration: PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews (CRD42015023425).)

KEYWORDS: Systematic review, maternal health, low- and middle-income countries, noncommunicable diseases

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