Relapse after severe acute malnutrition: A systematic literature review and secondary data analysis

H.C. Stobaugh et al.

The objectives of most treatment programmes for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in children focus on initial recovery only, leaving post‐discharge outcomes, such as relapse, poorly understood and undefined. This study aimed to systematically review current literature, and conduct secondary data analyses of studies that captured relapse rates up to 18 months post‐discharge, in children following recovery from SAM treatment. The development of a standard definition of relapse is needed for programme implementers and researchers. This will allow for assessment of programme quality regarding sustained recovery and better understanding of the contribution of relapse to local and global burden of SAM.

This systematic review was conducted by members of the No Wasted Lives technical advisory group – The Council of Research & Technical Advice on Acute Malnutrition (CORTASAM).