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Newborn Outcomes and Maternity Waiting Homes in Low and Middle-Income Countries: A Scoping Review

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Objectives Decreasing neonatal morbidity and mortality remains a challenge in low resource settings. Maternity waiting homes (MWHs) may offer a way to better provide perinatal obstetric care and improve newborn outcomes. The purpose of this scoping review is to examine the impact of MWHs on newborn outcomes and to inform the development of targeted interventions and services to decrease neonatal mortality. Methods A literature search of four databases in the fields of nursing, medicine and global health was conducted yielding a total of 11 articles included for the review. Results Results indicate studies with extremely limited qualitative or quantitative measures of the impact of MWHs on neonatal health. Conclusions An exceptionally wide gap in knowledge on the outcomes of neonates born at MWHs was identified through this scoping review of the scientific literature. The review illustrates the need for more research to understand the effectiveness of MWHs on newborn morbidity and mortality. An increased focus on the study of MWHs for improving newborn outcomes in low resource settings merits immediate attention.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Barbara L. Brush (The Carol J. and F. Edward Lake Professor of Nursing in Population Health, The University of Michigan School of Nursing) and Emily Ginier, MLIS (Informationist, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan). No grants or additional sources of funding supported this work.

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Correspondence to Julie M. Buser.

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Buser, J.M., Lori, J.R. Newborn Outcomes and Maternity Waiting Homes in Low and Middle-Income Countries: A Scoping Review. Matern Child Health J 21, 760–769 (2017).

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