The Maternal Health Task Force partnered with colleagues at the Population Council to review the skilled birth attendant (SBA) indicator, which is used widely as a proxy measure of quality of care. Measuring the proportion of births attended by a skilled birth attendant is often used for demographic health surveys and both global and national monitoring of maternal health. At the time this project was established, the majority of proposed indicators for measuring quality of maternal health care—including the SBA indicator—had not been validated.
To assess the validity of the SBA indicator, which generally relies on women’s self-reports, a team of researchers led by Ann Blanc at the Population Council compared women’s self-reports to third-party observations of the care provided during their labor and delivery services in Kenya and Mexico. Based on their mixed results, the researchers recommended further efforts to assess the validity of the SBA indicator and other indicators used to measure quality of maternal health care in diverse global settings.
Read more about the findings from these studies:
Measuring progress in maternal and newborn health care in Mexico: Validating indicators of health system contact and quality of care
BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth | August 2016
Assessing the validity of indicators of the quality of maternal and newborn health care in Kenya
Journal of Global Health | June 2016
Can surveys of women accurately track indicators of maternal and newborn care? A validity and reliability study in Kenya
Journal of Global Health | December 2016