81 research outputs found

    Perceptions of rewards among volunteer caregivers of people living with AIDS working in faith-based organizations in South Africa: a qualitative study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Volunteer caregivers are a critical source of support for the majority of people living with HIV and AIDS in southern Africa, which has extremely high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. While studies have shown that volunteer caregiving is associated with negative health and socio-economic outcomes, little is known about the positive experiences of volunteers in the home-based care context in South Africa. The purpose of this study is to explore the perception of rewards among volunteers working in home-based care settings.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This study uses a qualitative design. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposively selected sample of 55 volunteer caregivers using an interview schedule containing open-ended questions.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Volunteer caregivers derived intrinsic rewards related to self-growth and personal (emotional and psychological) development on the job; they also derived satisfaction from community members taking a liking for them and expressing a need for their services. Volunteers felt gratified by the improvements in their health behaviours, which were a direct consequence of the experiences of caring for terminally ill patients with AIDS. Extrinsic rewards came from appreciation and recognition shown by patients and community members. Extrinsic rewards also accrued to volunteers when the services they rendered made their patients happy. Perhaps the greatest sources of extrinsic rewards are skills and competencies acquired from training and experience while caring for their patients, and volunteers' ability to make a difference in the community.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Insights into volunteer caregiver rewards provide opportunities for policy makers and programme managers to develop a model of home-based care that facilitates the accrual of rewards to volunteers alongside volunteers' traditional duties of patient care. Programme managers could employ these insights in recruiting and assisting volunteers to identify and reflect on rewards in the caregiving situation as a means of reducing the burden of care and sustaining volunteer interest in caregiving.</p

    Experiences of women who have lost young children to AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a qualitative study

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    Background AIDS continues to be the leading cause of death in South Africa. Little is known about the experiences of mothers who have lost a young child to AIDS. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the attitudes and experiences of women who had lost a young child to HIV/AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 women who had lost a child to AIDS. The average age of the deceased children was six years. Interviews were also conducted with 12 key informants to obtain their perspectives on working with women who had lost a child to AIDS. A thematic analysis of the transcripts was performed. Results In addition to the pain of losing a child, the women in this study had to endure multiple stresses within a harsh and sometimes hostile environment. Confronted with pervasive stigma and extreme poverty, they had few people they could rely on during their child\u27s sickness and death. They were forced to keep their emotions to themselves since they were not likely to obtain much support from family members or people in the community. Throughout the period of caring for a sick child and watching the child die, they were essentially alone. The demands of caring for their child and subsequent grief, together with daily subsistence worries, took its toll. Key informants struggled to address the needs of these women due to several factors, including scarce resources, lack of training around bereavement issues, reluctance by people in the community to seek help with emotional issues, and poverty. Conclusions The present study offers one of the first perspectives on the experiences of mothers who have lost a young child to AIDS. Interventions that are tailored to the local context and address bereavement issues, as well as other issues that affect the daily lives of these mothers, are urgently needed. Further studies are needed to identify factors that promote resilience among these women

    Qualitative Environmental Health Research: An Analysis of the Literature, 1991-2008

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    BACKGROUND. Recent articles have advocated for the use of qualitative methods in environmental health research. Qualitative research uses nonnumeric data to understand people's opinions, motives, understanding, and beliefs about events or phenomena. OBJECTIVE. In this analysis of the literature, I report the use of qualitative methods and data in the study of the relationship between environmental exposures and human health. DATA SOURCES. A primary search on ISI Web of Knowledge/Web of Science for peer-reviewed journal articles dated from 1991 through 2008 included the following three terms: qualitative, environ*, and health. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are described. DATA EXTRACTION. Searches resulted in 3,155 records. Data were extracted and findings of articles analyzed to determine where and by whom qualitative environmental health research is conducted and published, the types of methods and analyses used in qualitative studies of environmental health, and the types of information qualitative data contribute to environmental health. DATA SYNTHESIS. Ninety-one articles met inclusion criteria. These articles were published in 58 different journals, with a maximum of eight for a single journal. The results highlight a diversity of disciplines and techniques among researchers who used qualitative methods to study environmental health, with most studies relying on one-on-one interviews. Details of the analyses were absent from a large number of studies. Nearly all of the studies identified increased scientific understanding of lay perceptions of environmental health exposures. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS. Qualitative data are published in traditionally quantitative environmental health studies to a limited extent. However, this analysis demonstrates the potential of qualitative data to improve understanding of complex exposure pathways, including the influence of social factors on environmental health, and health outcomes.National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (R25 ES012084, P42ES007381

    Impact of feedback on physical activity levels of individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease during pulmonary rehabilitation: a feasibility study

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    This study aimed at investigating whether providing feedback on physical activity (PA) levels to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is feasible and enhances daily PA during pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Patients with COPD participated in a 12-week PR program. Daily PA was measured using activity monitors on weeks 1, 7, and 12, and feedback was given in the following weeks on the number of steps, time spent in sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous intensity activities, and time spent standing, sitting, and lying. Compliance with PA monitoring was collected. Two focus groups were conducted to obtain patients’ perspectives on the use of activity monitors and on the feedback given. Differences in PA data were also assessed. Sixteen patients (65.63 ± 10.57 years; forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 70.31 ± 22.74% predicted) completed the study. From those, only eleven participants used the activity monitors during all monitoring days. Participants identified several problems regarding the use of activity monitors and monitoring duration. Daily steps ( p = 0.026) and standing time ( p = 0.030) were improved from week 1 to week 7; however, the former declined from week 7 to week 12. Findings suggest that using feedback to improve PA during PR is feasible and results in improved daily steps and standing time on week 7. The subsequent decline suggests that additional strategies may be needed to stimulate/maintain PA improvements. Further research with more robust designs is needed to investigate the impact of feedback on patients’ daily PA

    Health-promoting behaviors and social support of women of reproductive age, and strategies for advancing their health: Protocol for a mixed methods study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Determining the health-promoting behaviors of women during the important period of reproduction provides valuable information for designing appropriate intervention programs for advancing women's health. There is no study on the health-promoting behaviors of women of reproductive age in Iran. Thus, the aim of this study is to explore these health-promoting behaviors for the purpose of developing comprehensive and culturally sensitive health advancement strategies for Iranian women.</p> <p>Methods/Design</p> <p>This study has a sequential explanatory mixed methods design. The follow-up explanation model is used to elaborate the quantitative results by collecting qualitative data from participants who could best assist in elucidating the results. The study is conducted in two sequential phases. The first phase is a population-based cross-sectional survey in which 1350 Iranian women of reproductive age are selected by proportional random multistage cluster sampling of the 22 main municipal sectors of Tehran, Iran. Questionnaires are completed through a face-to-face interview. The second phase is a qualitative study in which participants are selected using purposive sampling in the form of extreme case sampling on the basis of health-promoting behavior scores. The qualitative phase is based on data collected from focus group discussions or individual in-depth interviews. A conventional qualitative content analysis approach is used, and the data are managed with a computer-assisted program. Women's health-promoting strategies are developed using the qualitative and quantitative results, a review of the related literature, and the nominal group technique among experts.</p> <p>Discussion</p> <p>The findings of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study, obtained using a culturally sensitive approach, provide insights into the health behavioral factors that need to be considered if preventive strategies and intervention programs are to be designed to promote women's health in the community.</p

    A qualitative investigation of breast cancer survivors’ experiences with breastfeeding

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    This is an exploratory, qualitative investigation of breast cancer survivors’ experiences with breastfeeding. Previous studies have focused on the physiology of lactation after surgery and treatment, but have not explored factors influencing breastfeeding decisions and behavior. We used purposeful sampling to identify 11 breast cancer survivors who had a child after their diagnosis and treatment. Participants were recruited from among those in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study and a Young Survival Coalition (YSC) affiliate. We conducted semi-structured, open-ended telephone interviews lasting 45–75 min. We used social cognitive theory (SCT) to structure questions regarding influences on breastfeeding behavior. We transcribed interviews and used cross-case, inductive analysis to identify themes. Ten of 11 participants initiated breastfeeding. The following main themes emerged: 1) Cautiously hopeful, 2) Exhausting to rely on one breast, 3) Motivated despite challenges, 4) Support and lack of support, and 5) Encouraging to others. Study participants were highly motivated to breastfeed but faced considerable challenges. Participants described problems that are not unique to women with breast cancer, but experienced these to a much greater degree because they relied mostly or entirely on one lactating breast. This study revealed a need for improved access to information and support and greater sensitivity to the obstacles faced by breast cancer survivors. Results of this qualitative analysis indicate that interventions to support the efforts of breast cancer survivors who are interested in breastfeeding are warranted. Additional research would aid in the development of such interventions

    Perceived usefulness of a distributed community-based syndromic surveillance system: a pilot qualitative evaluation study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>We conducted a pilot utility evaluation and information needs assessment of the Distribute Project at the 2010 Washington State Public Health Association (WSPHA) Joint Conference. Distribute is a distributed community-based syndromic surveillance system and network for detection of influenza-like illness (ILI). Using qualitative methods, we assessed the perceived usefulness of the Distribute system and explored areas for improvement. Nine state and local public health professionals participated in a focus group (<it>n = 6</it>) and in semi-structured interviews (<it>n = 3</it>). Field notes were taken, summarized and analyzed.</p> <p>Findings</p> <p>Several emergent themes that contribute to the perceived usefulness of system data and the Distribute system were identified: 1) <it>Standardization: </it>a common ILI syndrome definition; 2) <it>Regional Comparability: </it>views that support county-by-county comparisons of syndromic surveillance data; 3) <it>Completeness: </it>complete data for all expected data at a given time; <it>4) Coverage: </it>data coverage of all jurisdictions in WA state; 5) <it>Context: </it>metadata incorporated into the views to provide context for graphed data; 6) <it>Trusted Data</it>: verification that information is valid and timely; and 7) <it>Customization: </it>the ability to customize views as necessary. As a result of the focus group, a new county level health jurisdiction expressed interest in contributing data to the Distribute system.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The resulting themes from this study can be used to guide future information design efforts for the Distribute system and other syndromic surveillance systems. In addition, this study demonstrates the benefits of conducting a low cost, qualitative evaluation at a professional conference.</p

    Suffering in silence: consequences of sexual violence within marriage among young women in Nepal

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Despite the grave consequences of sexual violence, and it's persistence both within and outside marriages, this subject has received relatively little attention from researchers, policy makers, and programme managers in Nepal. This paper explores the definition of sexual violence and its various forms and consequences as reported by young married women in Nepal. In addition, it describes the coping mechanisms used by young married women to avoid sexual violence perpetrated against them by their husbands.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This paper analyzes data collected during the qualitative study on "Sexual violence among young couples in Nepal", conducted amongst two major ethnic groups - Brahmin/Chhetri and Tharu - between 2006 and 2007. The data is comprised of 39 free-lists and 15 in-depth case histories with married women aged 15-24 years. The average rank and Smith's Salience were calculated from the free-listing data. The thematic analysis approach was used for the analysis of information from the case histories.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Approximately three-quarters (74%) of the young women mentioned 'sex against one's wishes' as sexual violence within marriage (SVWM). Sixty-two percent of respondents described 'forced sex during illness' and 'forced sex after consumption of alcohol' as SVWM. About half of young women (48.7%) who participated in the free-listing exercise reported having experienced SVWM. The types of SVWM ranged from unwanted sexual touch to forced sex. Backache, headache, lower abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding and thoughts of suicide were the most commonly reported negative physical and psychological health consequences of SVWM. Women reported various coping strategies including 'trying to convince husbands', 'sleeping in a separate room', 'visiting maternal home', 'waking up the children', and 'using pretexts such as being ill or menstruating', to avoid SVWM. However, in most cases, women reported that these coping strategies were unsuccessful. Almost all women experiencing SVWM were socially isolated and did not turn to institutions, relatives or friends for advice and support.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Sexual violence within marriage is common in Nepal. Findings provide circumstantial evidence of links between sexual violence and negative general and reproductive health outcomes for women. Various actions are required to prevent SVWM and provide immediate support to the victims.</p
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