The Effectiveness of Community-Based Nutrition Education on the Nutrition Status of Under-five Children in Developing Countries. A Systematic Review
AbstractThis systematic review aimed at examining the best available evidence on
the effectiveness of community-based nutrition education in improving
the nutrition status of under five children in developing countries.
Methods : A systematic search of the literature was conducted utilising the following data bases: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), EMBASE, Medline, and Web of Knowledge. 9 studies were identified for the critical appraisal process. The Joanna Briggs Institute
(JBI) critical appraisal check-list for experimental studies was utilised
and two reviewers conducted the appraisal process independently. 7 studies were included for this review and data was extracted using the JBI data extraction form for experimental studies. The extracted data was heterogeneous as such narrative synthesis was conducted.
Results: The nutritional status of children in all studies improved and this was evidenced by increases in weight, height, mid upper arm circumference and reduced morbidity. Key messages about education were age at introduction of complementary foods, nutrition value on different types
of feeds found locally and frequency of feeding the children. However,
there were varied results regarding the effects of the intervention on
the nutrition status of children. This was attributed by differences in implementers’ characteristics, different intervention strategy and intensity,
difference in age of the children at enrolment, pre-existing children’s
growth and nutritional status and follow-up periods. In addition to home
visiting, conducting group meetings of care givers and community leaders,
providing education twice a week and use of cooking demonstrations have
shown that they produce highly significant findings.
Conclusion: The evidence from the identified studies suggests that community- based nutrition education improves the nutrition status of under-five children in developing countries.