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The impact of a human resource management intervention on the capacity of supervisors to support and supervise their staff at health facility level.

Hum Resour Health; 15(1): 57, 2017 Aug 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28854937


BACKGROUND: A systematic and structured approach to the support and supervision of health workers can strengthen the human resource management function at the district and health facility levels and may help address the current crisis in human resources for health in sub-Saharan Africa by improving health workers' motivation and retention. METHODS: A supportive supervision programme including (a) a workshop, (b) intensive training and (c) action learning sets was designed to improve human resource management in districts and health facilities in Tanzania. We conducted a randomised experimental design to evaluate the impact of the intervention. Data on the same measures were collected pre and post the intervention in order to identify any changes that occurred (between baseline and end of project) in the capacity of supervisors in intervention a + b and intervention a + b + c to support and supervise their staff. These were compared to supervisors in a control group in each of Tanga, Iringa and Tabora regions (n = 9). A quantitative survey of 95 and 108 supervisors and 196 and 187 health workers sampled at baseline and end-line, respectively, also contained open-ended responses which were analysed separately. RESULTS: Supervisors assessed their own competency levels pre- and post-intervention. End-line samples generally scored higher compared to the corresponding baseline in both intervention groups for competence activities. Significant differences between baseline and end-line were observed in the total scores on 'maintaining high levels of performance', 'dealing with performance problems', 'counselling a troubled employee' and 'time management' in intervention a + b. In contrast, for intervention a + b + c, a significant difference in distribution of scores was only found on 'counselling a troubled employee', although the end-line mean scores were higher than their corresponding baseline mean scores in all cases. Similar trends to those in the supervisors' reports are seen in health workers data in terms of more efficient supervision processes, although the increases are not as marked. CONCLUSION: A number of different indicators were measured to assess the impact of the supportive supervision intervention on the a + b and a + b + c intervention sites. The average frequency of supervision visits and the supervisors' competency levels across the facilities increased in both intervention types. This would suggest that the intervention proved effective in raising awareness of the importance of supervision and this understanding led to action in the form of more supportive supervision.