Evidence on respectful maternity care for adolescents: A systematic review protocol

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Background: Intrapartum mistreatment of women is an ubiquitous public health and human rights challenge. The issue reportedly has severe maternal and neonatal outcomes including mortality, and generally leads to a decreased satisfaction with maternity care. Intrapartum mistreatment, despite being ubiquitous, indicates higher incidence amongst adolescent parturients who are simultaneously at a higher risk of maternal morbidity and mortality. Studies have suggested that Respectful Maternity Care interventions reduce intrapartum mistreatment and improve clinical outcomes for women and neonates in general. However, evidence on the effect of RMC on adolescents is unclear. Hence, the specific aim of this study is to synthesise the available evidence relating to the provision of RMC for adolescents during childbirth. Methods: The methodology of the proposed systematic review follows the procedural guideline depicted in the preferred reporting items for systematic review protocol. The review will include published studies and gray literature from January 1, 1990, to June 30, 2021. Electronic databases including MEDLINE, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Cochrane, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Scopus, Google Scholar and Web of Science will be searched to retrieve available studies using the appropriate search strings. Studies included in the review will be appraised for quality using tools tailored to each study design. If appropriate, we will conduct random effects meta-analysis of data to summarise the pooled estimates of respectful maternity care prevalence and outcomes. The selection of relevant studies, data extraction and quality assessment of individual studies will be carried out by two independent authors. Results: Summaries of the findings will be compiled and synthesised in a narrative summary. In addition to the narrative synthesis, where sufficient data are available, a random-effects meta-analysis will be conducted to obtain a pooled estimate value for respectful maternity care prevalence and outcomes. Discussion: Respectful Maternity Care for adolescents holds great promise for improved maternal and neonatal care. However, there is a gap in knowledge on the interventions that work and the extent of their effectiveness. Findings from this study will be beneficial in improving Adolescents Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and reducing maternal mortality, especially for adolescents.