Social and behavior change communication (SBCC), which uses communication to positively influence the social dimensions of health and well-being, is an important strategy for improving health services at the provider level. As community health workers (CHWs) play an increasingly important role in providing health services, there is also an increasing focus on to how to use SBCC strategies to build CHWs’ capacity to offer quality services to the community members they serve. A key step in designing and implementing effective SBCC programs for CHWs is understanding the barriers and facilitators that effect CHWs in providing these services.
The aim of this literature review is to examine the barriers and facilitators to CHW service provision in three areas: knowledge and competency barriers in which CHWs lack the skills and knowledge to provide services, structural and contextual barriers in which systemic and environmental factors influence CHWs’ ability to provide services, and motivational barriers in which social norms and attitudes that effect CHWs willingness to provide services. In all three areas, findings revealed that CHWs face significant barriers,ranging from lack of materials and high workloads to ingrained attitudes and insufficient training. The results and recommendations in this paper can be used to anticipate and respond to potential barriers and promote facilitators to service provision through SBCC programs for CHWs.
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