A study to determine caregiver experiences and expectations in caring for patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries at University Teaching Hospital
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Spinal cord injuries are a serious problem and a major case of disability in Africa. A lot of individual have accidents that cause these injuries each year and many of these patients are cared for in the home setting, by family caregivers. The care giving experience is often stressful and can result in negative physical, social, emotional and mental health outcomes for the family caregiver.The purpose of this study was to determine caregiver's experiences and their expectations in caring for these patients with spinal cord injuries at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka.METHODOLOGYThe study was qualitative and used a semi-structured questionnaire as a data collection tool. The data was collected by doing face to face interviews of the respondents using the aid of the semi-structured questionnaire. The study sample was informal caregivers of patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries who have been caring for their patient for not less than 2 weeks. The study site was the University Teaching Hospital.RESULTSThe results showed that the caregivers have several needs which include tackling the occurrence of pressure sores, patient's infections means to provide comfort to the patient, comfort of the patient and other issues like privacy in the hospital. The caregivers also showed lack of information and know-how on how to tackle these problems. The study also revealed that the caregivers of SCI patients are experiencing social, emotional, psychological, physical and economical hardships without any attention being given to them. All these hardships also being exaggerated by the disappointment they face after initially having unrealistic expectations in the recovery the SCI they are caring for.CONCLUSION.The study therefore revealed the complexity of the care giving role and its challenges. It also highlighted the importance of a care giver in not only the management spinal cord injuries but also other chronic conditions of this nature.
CitationNgoma, Rex (2012). A study to determine caregiver experiences and expectations in caring for patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries at University Teaching Hospital
SponsorshipOffice of the Global AIDS/US Department of State
The University of Zambia
SubjectSpinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries a serious problem and a major case of disability in Africa.
- Medicine