Malaria education interventions addressing bed net care and repair practices: a systematic review

Ellen M. Santos, Deborah J. McClelland, Colleen E. Shelly, Lindsay Hansen, Elizabeth T. Jacobs, Yann C. Klimentidis, Kacey C. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Education intervention effectiveness to improve bed net care and repair knowledge or practices is unclear. To assess intervention effectiveness, we systematically reviewed eight peer-reviewed literature databases and 16 malaria organizations (PROSPERO protocol CRD42019123932) using pre-specified combinations of ‘education intervention’, ‘mosquito net’, and ‘malaria’ search terms. Data were abstracted for 29 of 43 studies meeting inclusion criteria, of which 16 studies included education as amain focus. Of these 16, there was evidence of intervention effectiveness among half of the studies, which reported improvements in knowledge or practices, while four had mixed results, and four had unclear results. Overall there is no clear conclusion regarding the effectiveness of education interventions to improve net care and repair, though some instructional methods suggest more success than others. Interventions used combinations of instructional methods; passive mass education (6), active mass education (12), and interpersonal methods (8). Interventions combining mass and interpersonal methods resulted in positive improvements (four positive, one mixed). We found no evidence that interventions grounded in health behavior theory achieved more positive results than those not grounded in theory, potentially because net care education was typically asecondary objective. Of 289 gray literature results, 286 (99%) were net distribution reports from Against Malaria Foundation describing 136 distributions; eighty of which (58.8%) mentioned no education related to net care and repair. We found lack of involvement of experts in education among included interventions. Involving trained instructors with expertise in education theory and instructional strategies may improve instruction quality to yield more effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-15
Number of pages14
JournalPathogens and Global Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • LLIN
  • Malaria
  • bed nets
  • care and repair
  • education interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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