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CRESCER project publishes MuCCUA study protocols in scientific journals

The CRESCER project – component IV of the FRESAN programme – recently published two articles in the scientific journals BMC Public Health and BMJ Open, relating to the MuCCUA study protocols. Publication in scientific journals is essential for the dissemination of the study’s progress among the scientific, academic and humanitarian community, and is key in terms of transparency, accountability and ethical contribution to science.

The publications of the protocol for the MuCCUA study– a communitytrialfor the prevention of chronic malnutrition – and the protocol for its economic evaluation, which aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of the trial’s interventions, have been led by researchers from the Carlos III Health Institute (CNMT-ISCIII) Estefanía Custodio and Rocío Martin-Cañavate, with the participation of the CRESCER consortium partners.

The article that includes the MuCCUA study protocol was published in the journal BMC Public Health and describes in depth the design of the cluster-randomised community trial, the study interventions, the data collection plan and the statistical analysis.

The aim of the MuCCUA study is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of three packages of interventions (one of which is the basic health package – Standard Care (SC) implemented alone, another which is a combination of SC with Nutritional Supplementation (SC+NS) and a third which combines SC with Cash Transfers (SC+TM)) to prevent chronic malnutrition in children in the first 1,000 days of life (from conception to two years of age) in southern Angola. The beneficiaries of the interventions are pregnant women and the children born from that pregnancy, who are followed up until the age of two.

The effectiveness of the interventions in reducing the prevalence of stunting, measured as the height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) < -2, in children under 2 years of age will be evaluated. The results will also be analysed in relation to other variables, such as mortality, morbidity, care, hygiene and nutrition behaviours and practices, and the dietary diversity of women and children. Quantitative data is also collected on women’s empowerment, household food security, expenditure and relevant clinical and social events at baseline, endline and intermediate time points.

The second article was published in the journal BMJ Open and describes the planned economic evaluation protocol associated with the MuCCUA trial, detailing the objectives, data collection methods and the planned plan for analysing the results. The economic evaluation plans to carry out a cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness analysis of the MuCCUA trial interventions from a social perspective, using a combined calculation method that includes quantitative data such as accounting records, activity time allocation sheets and qualitative data on opportunity costs that will be collected through interviews and focus groups. Total costs will be calculated, cost-efficiency defined as the ratio of cost per woman/child achieved for each intervention and cost-effectiveness defined as the cost per case of chronic malnutrition prevented for each intervention.


Custodio, E., Herrador, Z., Trigo, E. et al. Atendimento Padrão e Suplementação Nutricional( AP+SN) versus Atendimento Padrão e/ou Atendimento Padrão e Transferências Monerárias ( AP+TM) na prevenção da desnutrição crónica no Sul de Angola: protocolo do estudo MuCCUA, um ensaio controlado aleatório por clusters. BMC Public Health 24, 429 (2024). https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-024-17858-7 DOI:10.1186/s12889-024-17858-7

Martin-Cañavate R, Custodio E, Trigo E, Romay-Barja M, Herrador Z, Aguado I, Ramirez F, Faria, Silva-Gerardo A, Lima JC, Iráizoz E, Marques T, Vargas A, Gomez A, Puett C, Molina I. Preventing chronic malnutrition in children under 2 years in rural Angola (MuCCUA trial): protocol for the economic evaluation of a three-arm community cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2023 Dez 18;13(12):e073349. https://repisalud.isciii.es/handle/20.500.12105/17181  DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-073349

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