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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Paying for performance to improve the delivery of health interventions in low- and middle-income countries

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2021
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (69th percentile)

Mentioned by

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76 tweeters
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1 Facebook page

Citations

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1 Dimensions

Readers on

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168 Mendeley
Title
Paying for performance to improve the delivery of health interventions in low- and middle-income countries
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2021
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd007899.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Karin Diaconu, Jennifer Falconer, Adrian Verbel, Atle Fretheim, Sophie Witter

Abstract

There is growing interest in paying for performance (P4P) as a means to align the incentives of healthcare providers with public health goals. Rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of these strategies in improving health care and health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is lacking; this is an update of the 2012 review on this topic. To assess the effects of paying for performance on the provision of health care and health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, and 10 other databases between April and June 2018. We also searched two trial registries, websites, online resources of international agencies, organizations and universities, and contacted experts in the field. Studies identified from rerunning searches in 2020 are under 'Studies awaiting classification.' We included randomized or non-randomized trials, controlled before-after studies, or interrupted time series studies conducted in LMICs (as defined by the World Bank in 2018). P4P refers to the transfer of money or material goods conditional on taking a measurable action or achieving a predetermined performance target. To be included, a study had to report at least one of the following outcomes: patient health outcomes, changes in targeted measures of provider performance (such as the delivery of healthcare services), unintended effects, or changes in resource use. We extracted data as per original review protocol and narratively synthesised findings. We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Given diversity and variability in intervention types, patient populations, analyses and outcome reporting, we deemed meta-analysis inappropriate. We noted the range of effects associated with P4P against each outcome of interest. Based on intervention descriptions provided in documents, we classified design schemes and explored variation in effect by scheme design. We included 59 studies: controlled before-after studies (19), non-randomized (16) or cluster randomized trials (14);  and interrupted time-series studies (9). One study included both an interrupted time series and a controlled before-after study. Studies focused on a wide range of P4P interventions, including target payments and payment for outputs as modified by quality (or quality and equity assessments). Only one study assessed results-based aid. Many schemes were funded by national governments (23 studies) with the World Bank funding most externally funded schemes (11 studies). Targeted services varied; however, most interventions focused on reproductive, maternal and child health indicators. Participants were predominantly located in public or in a mix of public, non-governmental and faith-based facilities (54 studies). P4P was assessed predominantly at health facility level, though districts and other levels were also involved. Most studies assessed the effects of P4P against a status quo control (49 studies); however, some studies assessed effects against comparator interventions (predominantly enhanced financing intended to match P4P funds (17 studies)). Four studies reported intervention effects against both comparator and status quo. Controlled before-after studies were at higher risk of bias than other study designs. However, some randomised trials were also downgraded due to risk of bias. The interrupted time-series studies provided insufficient information on other concurrent changes in the study context. P4P compared to a status quo control For health services that are specifically targeted, P4P may slightly improve health outcomes (low certainty evidence), but few studies assessed this. P4P may also improve service quality overall (low certainty evidence); and probably increases the availability of health workers, medicines and well-functioning infrastructure and equipment (moderate certainty evidence). P4P may have mixed effects on the delivery and use of services (low certainty evidence) and may have few or no distorting unintended effects on outcomes that were not targeted (low-certainty evidence), but few studies assessed these. For secondary outcomes, P4P may make little or no difference to provider absenteeism, motivation or satisfaction (low certainty evidence); but may improve patient satisfaction and acceptability (low certainty evidence); and may positively affect facility managerial autonomy (low certainty evidence). P4P probably makes little to no difference to management quality or facility governance (low certainty evidence). Impacts on equity were mixed (low certainty evidence). For health services that are untargeted, P4P probably improves some health outcomes (moderate certainty evidence); may improve the delivery, use and quality of some health services but may make little or no difference to others (low certainty evidence); and may have few or no distorting unintended effects (low certainty evidence). The effects of P4P on the availability of medicines and other resources are uncertain (very low certainty evidence). P4P compared to other strategies For health outcomes and services that are specifically targeted, P4P may make little or no difference to health outcomes (low certainty evidence), but few studies assessed this. P4P may improve service quality (low certainty evidence); and may have mixed effects on the delivery and use of health services and on the availability of equipment and medicines (low certainty evidence). For health outcomes and services that are untargeted, P4P may make little or no difference to health outcomes and to the delivery and use of health services (low certainty evidence). The effects of P4P on service quality, resource availability and unintended effects are uncertain (very low certainty evidence). Findings of subgroup analyses Results-based aid, and schemes using payment per output adjusted for service quality, appeared to yield the greatest positive effects on outcomes. However, only one study evaluated results-based aid, so the effects may be spurious. Overall, schemes adjusting both for quality of service and rewarding equitable delivery of services appeared to perform best in relation to service utilization outcomes. The evidence base on the impacts of P4P schemes has grown considerably, with study quality gradually increasing. P4P schemes may have mixed effects on outcomes of interest, and there is high heterogeneity in the types of schemes implemented and evaluations conducted. P4P is not a uniform intervention, but rather a range of approaches. Its effects depend on the interaction of several variables, including the design of the intervention (e.g., who receives payments ), the amount of additional funding,  ancillary components (such as technical support) and contextual factors (including organizational context).

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 76 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 168 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 1%
United Kingdom 2 1%
South Africa 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
Unknown 161 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 41 24%
Researcher 38 23%
Student > Ph. D. Student 16 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 11 7%
Student > Bachelor 10 6%
Other 29 17%
Unknown 23 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 49 29%
Social Sciences 23 14%
Nursing and Health Professions 23 14%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 18 11%
Unspecified 3 2%
Other 18 11%
Unknown 34 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 53. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 July 2021.
All research outputs
#526,104
of 18,652,463 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,184
of 11,838 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#15,320
of 333,649 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#9
of 26 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 18,652,463 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,838 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.2. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 333,649 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 26 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its contemporaries.