Incentives for pregnant mothers during antenatal care for better maternal and neonatal health outcomes: A systematic review protocol

Ramesh Holla, Bhaskaran Unnikrishnan, Ratheebhai Vijayamma, Bhumika T V, Anju Sinha, Darshan Bb, Rekha T, Prasanna Mithra P, Nithin Kumar, Vaman Kulkarni, Ravishankar N, Rosemol Johnson K

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Universal access to maternal new-born and child healthcare services (MNCH) is detrimental for attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three pertaining to promotion of health at all ages. Incentivization in the form of cash, vouchers, and goods have been used as part of strategies to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes around the world. However, there exists uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of various incentive-based programmes targeted for pregnant mothers in low- and middle-income countries during their antenatal period. Methods: We will search six electronic databases, namely the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (Medline), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Scopus, Web of Science, and Embase in addition to Google Scholar. Manual searching of the reference lists of included studies will also be done. The reporting of this protocol will follow the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement [29]. Only interventional studies that follow randomized, quasi randomized, and cluster randomized controlled study designs will be included. A three-stage screening process will be adopted to select articles. Risk of bias for the included studies will be assessed using the tools and criteria specified in the Cochrane handbook. In addition, the GRADE approach will be used to assess the quality of evidence for the maternal and neonatal health outcomes. Conclusion: This review of trials is essential to inform the effectiveness of incentive-based programmes targeted for pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries. It will help the policy makers to utilise the resources more effectively and to integrate the evidence based public health initiatives into the health system. This can also help build the continuum of care financial packages for all pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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