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Table 1 Description of included studies

From: What interventions are effective on reducing inequalities in maternal and child health in low- and middle-income settings? A systematic review

Article and country of study Intervention type MDG outcome Study design and overall quality Inequality dimension Inequality measurement and outcomes
Aquino 2009 [23] Brazil Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: Family Health Program (Strengthening community health service provision) MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Ecological study Socioeconomic status Fixed-Effects Models stratified by human development index of a district; Reductions in infant mortality rates measured by Risk Ratios after Family Health Program being more in lower Human development index group
Moderate
Baqui 2008 [24] India Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: NGO facilitation of a government community-based MCH program MDG 5: Skilled birth attendance and antenatal care visit Controlled before and after study Asset/wealth Concentration indices (CI) calculated for intervention and comparison districts at baseline and endline for each outcome; The change of CI from baseline to endline in intervention districts being significant, but not in comparison districts
Strong
Benn 2010 [6] Guinea-Bissau Nutrition supplements: Vitamin A MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Controlled trial Gender The differences in mortality between Vitamin A group and Placebo group, and stratification by sex; mortality rate ratios of vitamin A supplementation showing the supplementation tended to be beneficial in boys but not in girls
Strong
Bishai 2002 [25] Bangladesh Expanding immunization coverage campaign: Intensive outreach visits by community health workers MDG 4: Measles vaccination Cohort study Education, size of living room Interactions between socioeconomic status indictors and a dummy variable for residence in intervention areas was added in probit regressions; The effects of parents’ education and living size being both lessened in intervention areas
Strong
Bishai 2003 [26] Bangladesh Expanding immunization coverage campaign: Measles vaccine MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Cohort study Socioeconomic status Socio-economic differentials in mortality between the lowest and highest socioeconomic status (SES) quintiles in a cohort of vaccinated children and a control cohort; The mortality ratio of lowest SES to highest in the control population being significantly higher than it in the vaccinated population
Strong
Bishai 2005 [27] Nepal Nutrition supplements: Vitamin A MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Controlled trial Gender, caste and asset The differences in mortality between boys and girls in Vitamin A group and placebo group; The difference in Vitamin A group being less than the difference in placebo group
Strong
Dyer 1996 [28] South Africa Expanding immunization coverage campaign: National immunization campaign MDG 4: Measles vaccination Repeated cross-sectional study Ethnicity The differences vaccination coverage between pre- and post- campaign, and stratified for race; The difference in Asians being more than the differences in urban and rural blacks
Weak
Hatt 2007 [29] Indonesia Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: A midwife in every village MDG 5: Skilled birth attendance Repeated cross-sectional study Asset/wealth Time-trend interactions with wealth quintile and urban/rural residence was added into logistic regression; The Odd Ratios showing that professional attendance in low socioeconomic status group increased more than those with higher socioeconomic status
Weak
Hotchkis 2011 [30] Nigeria, Uganda, Bangladesh and Indonesia Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: Expansion of the private sector supply of modern contraceptives MDG 5: Modern contraceptive prevalence Rate Repeated cross-sectional study Asset/wealth Concentration indices differences between different survey rounds; concentration indices overall showing decrease trend
Moderate
Koenig 2001 [31] Bangladesh Expanding immunization coverage campaign: Measles vaccine MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Cohort study Gender, household dwelling size and education levels Interactions between socioeconomic status indictors and vaccination status was added in proportional hazard regression; The decline in mortality risks with measles vaccination for those from smaller household dwelling size significantly exceeding that for those with bigger dwelling size, but no significant results for other two dimensions (gender and education level)
Moderate
Kozhimannil 2009 [32] Phillipines Demand side interventions: Health insurance program MDG 5: Antenatal care attendance Repeated cross-sectional study Asset, occupation and place of residence (rural/urban) Stratified logistic analyses by urban/rural, employment status, and wealth; In women in rural areas, those in the lowest wealth tertile and those who are employed, the odds ratios being bigger and significant
Moderate
Masanja 2005 [33] Tanzania Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: Integrated management of Childhood Illness MDG 4: Measles vaccination Controlled before and after study Socioeconomic status Concentration indices differences from 1999 to 2002 in both intervention and control groups; The difference in concentration indices in intervention group reducing more
Moderate
Nasreen 2003 [34] Bangladesh Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: BRAC intervention (Providing preventive health, nutrition education and other primary care) MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Case control study Education, occupation, economic condition, age Stratified analysis for association between BRAC membership and neonatal death; For those mothers aged less and those fathers without wage, the relative risks of death being greater in intervention groups, and no significant influence from economic condition and parents’ literacy
Strong
Nielsen 2005 [35] Guinea-Bissau Nutrition supplements: Vitamin A MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Controlled before and after study Education levels, ethnicity, place of residence Changes in mortality related to socio-economic factors for Vitamin A supplemented children compared with pre-wartime (no Vitamin A supplementation); the mortality risks being significantly reduced after war (Vitamin A supplemented) in the area pre-war disadvantage of families living and for those with low mother education level
Moderate
Pebley 1991 [36] Indiana Mixed interventions: Combined health-care and nutrition service provision MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Controlled trial Gender The changes in male/female mortality ratios from before to during the intervention in different interventions and control groups; the male/female mortality ratios being increased more in intervention groups than change in control group
Weak
Sasaki 2011 [7] Zambia Expanding immunization coverage campaign: Outreach immunization services MDG 4: Measles vaccination Repeated cross-sectional study Distance to health facilities and income Two logistic regression analysis before and after the introduction of outreach immunization services; Before the introduction of outreach services, longer distances to the service points being associated with lower measles immunization coverage, but not after the outreach services; no significant outcome for income
Moderate
Zeng 2011 [37] China Nutrition supplements: Multiple micronutrients MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Controlled trial Asset/wealth Analysis for association between interventions and mortality outcome stratified by household wealth index; in the poorest group Iron/folic acid supplement significantly being related lower early neonate mortality, the association being not significant in wealthier group
Strong
Kamiya 2013 [38] Bangladesh Mixed interventions: Safe Motherhood Promotion Project including demand side intervention (community mobilization through participatory approaches) and intervention to improve service provision MDG 5: Skilled birth attendance and antenatal care visit Controlled before and after study Income Interaction term, Income quartile × Project × Time was added in Difference-in-differences logistic regressions; Relative to the comparison site, significant increase in antenatal care for women belonging to lower income quartiles compared to those in the highest quartile in the project site, no significant outcome for skilled birth attendance
Strong
Quayyum 2013 [39] Bangladesh Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: BRAC program’s the intervention on improving Maternal, Neonatal and Child Survival (IMN CS) MDG 5: Skilled birth attendance and antenatal care visit Controlled before and after study Asset/wealth The change in concentration index over time in both intervention and comparison areas; The concentration index being reduced more in the intervention areas
Strong
Amudhan 2013 [40] India Mixed interventions: demand side interventions (conditional cash transfer scheme) and interventions to improve services provision (the strengthening of the primary health centre network) MDG 5: Skilled birth attendance Controlled before and after study Socio-economic status: caste and education Subgroup analysis by socioeconomic status on institutional delivery rate; institutional delivery among disadvantaged mothers increasing more compared with the increase among other groups
Moderate
Houweling 2013 [41] Indian Demand side interventions: Participatory women’s group intervention MDG 4: Infant and under-five mortality Controlled before and after study Socio-economic status: caste, land ownership, literacy, and asset ownership Separate random effects logistic regression, for the most and less socio-economically marginalized groups; Odd Ratios showing that mortality reducing more in most marginalized populations than the reduction in less marginalized populations
Strong
Mosquera 2012 [42] Colombia Interventions to improve provision of maternal and child health care services: Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy MDG 4: Infant and under-5 mortality rate Ecological study Socio-economic status Change in concentration indices for four child health outcomes from before to after implementation of intervention; The variation in the concentration index observed between the two periods being positive
Weak