Does service integration improve technical quality of care in low-resource settings? An evaluation of a model integrating HIV care into family planning services in Kenya
The aim of this study was to investigate association between HIV and family planning integration and technical quality of care. The study focused on technical quality of client-provider consultation sessions. The cross-sectional study observed 366 client-provider consultation sessions and interviewed 37 health care providers in 12 public health facilities in Kenya. Multilevel random intercept and linear regression models were fitted to the matched data to investigate relationships between service integration and technical quality of care as well as associations between facility-level structural and provider factors and technical quality of care. A sensitivity analysis was performed to test for hidden bias. After adjusting for facility-level structural factors, HIV/family planning integration was found to have significant positive effect on technical quality of the consultation session, with average treatment effect 0.44 (95% CI: 0.63-0.82). Three of the 12 structural factors were significantly positively associated with technical quality of consultation session including: availability of family planning commodities (9.64; 95% CI: 5.07-14.21), adequate infrastructure (5.29; 95% CI: 2.89-7.69) and reagents (1.48; 95% CI: 1.02-1.93). Three of the nine provider factors were significantly positively associated with technical quality of consultation session: appropriate provider clinical knowledge (3.14; 95% CI: 1.92-4.36), job satisfaction (2.02; 95% CI: 1.21-2.83) and supervision (1.01; 95% CI: 0.35-1.68), while workload (−0.88; 95% CI: −1.75 to − 0.01) was negatively associated. Technical quality of the client-provider consultation session was also determined by duration of the consultation and type of clinic visit and appeared to depend on whether the clinic visit occurred early or later in the week. Integration of HIV care into family planning services can improve the technical quality of client-provider consultation sessions as measured by both health facility structural and provider factors.