Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

A systematic review of the effectiveness of shortening Integrated Management of Childhood Illness guidelines training

Final report

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 91
Publication date: 2008
Languages: English
ISBN: 9789241597210



The Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy has been shown to improve care for ill children in outpatient settings in developing countries. A central component is an 11-day in-service training course for health workers on IMCI clinical guidelines.

In some countries, the course has been shortened to reduce training costs and the time health workers are away from their clinics during training. A systematic review to compare the effectiveness of the IMCI strategy that used standard in-service training (duration >11 days) versus shortened training (5–11 days) was conducted.

There were too few direct comparisons of standard and short training with adequate study designs to conclude firmly whether, and to what degree, shortening IMCI training reduces its effectiveness. A review across all comparisons suggested that the standard in-service IMCI training course is somewhat more effective than short training; although the magnitude of the difference is unclear, ranging from –3 to +18 %-points.