A Community Health Worker–Based Intervention on Anthropometric Outcomes of Children Aged 3 to 21 Months in Urban Pakistan, 2019–2021

Published - Dec 14, 2022

Objectives. To evaluate the impact of a community health worker–based “in-home growth monitoring with counseling” (IHGMC) intervention on anthropometric outcomes in Pakistan, where 38% of children younger than 5 years are stunted.

Methods. We used an individual, single-blind, step-wedge randomized controlled trial and a pure control group recruited at endline. We based the analysis on an intention-to-treat estimation using the coarsened exact matching (CEM) method for sample selection among treatments and the control. We conducted the baseline in July 2019 and completed endline in September–October 2021. We recruited 1639 households (treated: 1188; control: 451) with children aged 3 to 21 months who were residing in an urban informal settlement area. The CEM sample used for analysis numbered 1046 (treated: 636; control: 410). The intervention continued for 6 months.

Results. Compared with the control group, the height-for-age z-score in the IHGMC group increased by 0.58 SD (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33, 0.83; P = .001) and the weight-for-age z-score by 0.43 SD (95% CI = 0.20, 0.67; P < .01), measured at endline.

Conclusions. IHGMC substantially improved child anthropometric outcomes in disadvantaged localities, and this impact persisted during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Abu S. Shonchoy FIU

Cite this publication

Shonchoy AS, Akram AA, Khan M, et al. A community health worker–based intervention on anthropometric outcomes of children aged 3 to 21 months in urban Pakistan, 2019–2021. Am J Public Health. 2023;113(1):105–114.

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