Cross-sectional study to predict subnational levels of health workers' knowledge about severe malaria treatment in Kenya
Machini B, Achia TN, Chesang J, Amboko B, Mwaniki P, Kipruto H
BMJ Open. 2022;12
OBJECTIVES: This study applied a Bayesian hierarchical ecological spatial model beyond predictor analysis to test for the best fitting spatial effects model to predict subnational levels of health workers' knowledge of severe malaria treatment policy, artesunate dosing, and preparation. SETTING: County referral government and major faith-based hospitals across 47 counties in Kenya in 2019. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A secondary analysis of cross-sectional survey data from 345 health workers across 89 hospitals with inpatient departments who were randomly selected and interviewed. OUTCOME MEASURES: Three ordinal outcome variables for severe malaria treatment policy, artesunate dose and preparation were considered, while 12 individual and contextual predictors were included in the spatial models. RESULTS: A third of the health workers had high knowledge levels on artesunate treatment policy; almost three-quarters had high knowledge levels on artesunate dosing and preparation. The likelihood of having high knowledge on severe malaria treatment policy was lower among nurses relative to clinicians (adjusted OR (aOR)=0.48, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.87), health workers older than 30 years were 61% less likely to have high knowledge about dosing compared with younger health workers (aOR=0.39, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.67), while health workers exposed to artesunate posters had 2.4-fold higher odds of higher knowledge about dosing compared with non-exposed health workers (aOR=2.38, 95% CI 1.22 to 4.74). The best model fitted with spatially structured random effects and spatial variations of the knowledge level across the 47 counties exhibited neighbourhood influence. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge of severe malaria treatment policies is not adequately and optimally available among health workers across Kenya. The factors associated with the health workers' level of knowledge were cadre, age and exposure to artesunate posters. The spatial maps provided subnational estimates of knowledge levels for focused interventions.