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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - PloS one
Title Association of Frontline Worker-Provided Services with Change in Block-Level Complementary Feeding Indicators: An Ecological Analysis from Bihar, India
Volume 11
Issue 11
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0166511

Insufficiencies in complementary feeding put infants and young children at increased risk of undernutrition. Till now, most Indian studies have looked at the individual level determinants of complementary feeding practices. We aimed to evaluate the association of frontline worker (FLW) provided nutritional counselling services, with change in community level indicators of complementary feeding practices among 9–11 month old children over time.


The study data was obtained from five rounds of ‘Lot Quality Assurance Sampling’ survey in eight districts of Bihar, an impoverished Indian state. The surveys were conducted as evaluation exercises for the ‘Integrated Family Health Initiative (IFHI)’–a multi-faceted program aimed at improving the maternal and child health outcomes in Bihar. The main outcome indicators were—current breastfeeding, age-appropriate minimum frequency of semi-solid food, age-appropriate minimum quantity of semi-solid food, initiation of complementary feeding at the right age, and dietary diversity. Repeated measures analysis was performed to determine the association of changes in the outcome indicators with coverage of FLW-provided counselling services.


Visits by FLW, advices on age-appropriate frequency and handwashing were significant predictors of receiving age-appropriate frequency of feeding. The determinants of receiving age-appropriate quantity were—advices on age appropriate frequency and advices on handwashing. Receiving food support from AWC and FLW visits were significantly associated with initiating complementary feeding at the right age.


The present study identified the critical elements among the different types of FLW-provided services. The study findings, from an economically and socially underdeveloped region of India, would inform the relevant programs about the nutritional counselling services that need to be emphasized upon for reducing the burden of childhood malnutrition.

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