Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa



There has been a persistent increase in clients’ dissatisfaction with providers’ competencies in maternal and child healthcare (MCH). Existing interventions have failed to address the complexity of provider-client relationships. Therefore, targeted, contextualized innovative solutions that place providers and clients at the forefront as agents of change in optimizing intervention design and implementation are needed. The study team adopted a co-design strategy as part of Human- Centered Design (HCD) approach, where MCH nurses, clients, and stakeholders partnered to design an intervention package to improve provider-client relationships in rural Tanzania.


This paper explored nurses’, clients’, and MCH stakeholders’ perspectives following participation in a co-design stage of the HCD study to generate interventions to strengthen nurse-client relationships in Shinyanga Region.


A qualitative descriptive design was used. Thirty semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted in the Swahili language with purposefully selected nurses, clients, and MCH stakeholders. The inclusion criterion was participation in consultative workshops to co-design an intervention package to strengthen nurse-client relationships. Data were transcribed and translated simultaneously, managed using NVivo, and analyzed thematically.


Three main themes were developed from the analysis, encompassing key learnings from engagement in the co-design process, the potential benefits of co-designing interventions, and co-designing as a tool for behavior change and personal commitment. The key learnings from participation in the co-design process included the acknowledgment that both nurses and clients contributed to tensions within their relationships. Additionally, it was recognized that the benefits of a good nurse-client relationship extend beyond nurses and clients to the health sector. Furthermore, it was learned that improving nurse-client relationships requires interventions targeting nurses, clients, and the health sector. Co-designing was considered beneficial as it offers a promising strategy for designing

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC nursing


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.