Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Bwafwano home based care givers towards people living with HIV(PLHIV) but also suffering from mental illness in Lusaka and Central Provinces, Zambia
Ulaya, Zulu Patricia
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Arising from the assumption that knowledge, attitudes and practices may be lacking or poor among home based care givers towards people living with HIV (PLHIV) but suffering from mental illness, a cross sectional mixed study design employing a survey of 111 questioners and 12 focus group discussions was undertaken with caregivers enlisted within four sites mainly; Chazanga peri urban compound and Ngwerere rural in Lusaka province and Chibombo and Mkushi rural in Central Province of the Bwafwano Home Based Care establishment to determine their knowledge, attitudes and practices. Using One Way ANOVA, there were statistically no significant differences (p = 0.587) in the mean scores of the respondents in the four sites. The results indicated poor knowledge in the sample about mental health and the extent to which mental illness was a problem among PLHIV and mental illness as well as the care given. The study established that Males and females in the study sample showed significant differences in their perceptions on the knowledge variable (t=35.069, df = 110 p = 0.00). On the attitude variable it was observed that these were poor in the three domains: restriction, benevolence and stereotype. Practices did not differ significantly between the two levels of the independent variables: "town" (F= 2.040, df, 3, p = 0.113). The results further showed that on the independent variable "sex", males and females did not show significant differences in their perceptions on the dependent variable “Practices Score" (F= 0.010, df, 1, p = 0.921). The practice domain further shows that the care givers were unable to offer any treatment and mostly referred clients to religious leaders, private practitioners and nearest hospitals. More respondents n = 68 (61.3%) felt that the PLHIV but suffering from mental illness were not receiving the attention they deserved from the home based care givers This study has provided important indications of Community caregivers’ perceptions of mental illness in people living with HIV and AIDS in Bwafwano Home Based Care, which had not been sought previously. These findings have implication on the quality of care that PLHIV but suffering from mental illness may be receiving under Home Based Care (HBC). The findings therefore highlight the need for strategies to improve the capacities of home based care givers to provide quality care to PLHIV and suffering from mental illness.
- Medicine