Participatory approaches in primary health care related implementation research in low-and middle-income countries: A narrative review

  • Authors: Saif-Ur-Rahman KM Sultana S Afrin S Islam K.


"Objectives Primary Health Care (PHC) oriented health systems are crucial to accelerate the achievement of Universal Health Coverage. Previous studies have suggested the importance of participatory approaches to improve PHC. This review aimed to identify the available published implementation research in PHC considering participatory approaches in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Study design A narrative review was conducted following the standard guidelines. Methods Three electronic databases were searched where keywords were combined using Boolean operators. Studies were included considering the pre-specified inclusion and exclusion criteria through two-phase screening. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institution's critical appraisal tools. Data were presented using a narrative synthesis approach. Results A total of 13 articles were included that focused on community-based approaches in PHC service, maternal and newborn care, family planning, tuberculosis, and mental health. Three studies focused on mental health and demonstrated the efficacy of community support groups, peer volunteers, and community-based mental education in promoting mental health services. Two studies described community participation to ensure patient safety and risk reduction. Other studies explored the effectiveness of community-based, directly observed treatment for tuberculosis; community health worker-based maternal and child health care; and a community-based package for family planning. Eleven studies were conducted in Africa and the rest were in South Asia. Conclusion This review reveals the gap in implementation research incorporating participatory approaches in the field of PHC. Limited studies have been conducted which indicate the need and scope of implementation research with participatory approaches in the PHC field."