Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Curationis]]> vol. 35 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Cyclic efforts to improve completion rates of Masters' degree students in nursing</b>]]> Supervisors at Higher Education Institutions are challenged to shorten throughput of Master's degree students in nursing as researchers are needed to improve the art and science of the nursing profession. Globally the completion time for a postgraduate degree in the health sciences varies between 4.7 and 5.5 years. The purpose of the study was to describe strategies that were implemented to shorten completion time and attrition rate of postgraduate students. A cyclic technical, scientific collaborative mode within an action research methodology was used to identify factors impeding completion time in this study. Contrary to other studies, supervision was not an inhibiting factor in this study. Physical, technical, academic and financial aspects were identified by postgraduate students through questionnaires and informal discussion groups with supervisors as well as progress reports. Strategies were implemented to address these. Following implementation of all strategies, 42% of the postgraduate students in the School of Nursing completed their Master's degree within two years. This implies a 34% improvement. Although the completion rate improved it was still unsatisfactory and new challenges were identified during the second cycle, for example, the number of inexperienced supervisors increased and they needed mentoring. Speed mentoring is a possible solution to the problem. <![CDATA[<b>Barriers to quality patient care in rural district hospitals</b>]]> Currently barriers exist in delivering quality health care. This study aimed to investigate such barriers in the eight rural district hospitals of the West Coast Winelands Region, three type A and five type B hospitals. A quantitative descriptive design was applied which included the total population of nursing staff (n = 340) working at the time of data collection. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed with a response rate of 82%. Reliability of the instrument was verified using the Cronbach alpha coefficient and a pilot study. The validity, specifically construct and content validity, were assured by means of an extensive literature review, pilot study and use of experts. Ethics approval was obtained from the relevant stakeholders. Results showed that 272 participants (97%) disagreed that provision of staff was adequate, with staff above 40 years of age more likely to disagree (p = <0.01). A statistically significant association was shown between availability of doctors and staff not being able to cope with emergencies (p = <0.01). Most participants (n =212; 76%) indicated that they were not receiving continuing education, with the registered nurses more likely to disagree (x² test, p = 0.02). Participants in both hospital types A (n = 131; 82%) and B (n = 108; 91%) also disagreed that provision of equipment and consumables was adequate. The research showed that inadequacies relating to human resources, professional development, consumables and equipment influenced the quality of patient care. Urgent attention should be given to the problems identified to ensure quality of patient care in rural hospitals. <![CDATA[<b>Experiences of family members caring for Tuberculosis patients at home at Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province</b>]]> Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease which enters the body by inhalation and usually affects the lungs. TB is ranked amongst the leading infectious diseases worldwide, and in South Africa (SA) it has become an epidemic, because of its high prevalence. There are multiple factors that were found to attribute to the existence and spread of this disease. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe experiences of family members caring for TB patients at home, in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province. The study was qualitative, explorative, descriptive, phenomenological and contextual in nature. The population group selected for the study all comprised of family members caring for tuberculosis patients at home in Tshifulanani village. A purposive sampling method was applied in the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews guided by three questions. Tech's eight steps of data analysis were followed. Measures to ensure trustworthiness and ethical issues were observed. The results of the study revealed that family members experienced difficulties when they care for TB patients at home. These difficulties included providing food, attending to hygiene needs, the lack of equipment, financial constraints as well as physical and psychological exhaustion. Recommendations were made concerning the provision food, attending to hygiene needs, assisting in the administration of medication, nursing practice and policy making. <![CDATA[<b>Psychiatric nurse practitioners' experiences of working with mental health care users presenting with acute symptoms</b>]]> Psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) working with mental health care users presenting with acute symptoms work in a complex environment. This environment is characterised by mental health care users who may present with a history of violence, sexual assault and substance misuse. The objectives of this study were twofold: firstly, to explore and describe the experiences of PNPs working with mental health care users (MHCUs) presenting with acute symptoms; and secondly, to make recommendations for the advanced PNPs to facilitate promotion of the mental health of PNPs with reference to nursing practice, research and education. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual design was used. The target population was PNPs working with MHCUs presenting with acute symptoms in a public mental health care institution in Gauteng. Data were collected by means of four focus group interviews involving 21 PNPs. The researcher made use of drawings, naïve sketches and field notes for the purpose of data triangulation. Data were analysed in accordance with Tesch's method of open coding. The three themes that emerged were: PNPs experienced working with these MHCUs as entering an unsafe world where care became a burden; they experienced negative emotional reactions and attitudes towards these MHCUs that compromised quality nursing care; and they made a plea for a nurturing environment that would enhance quality nursing care. The PNPs suggest skills and competency development, organisational support, and a need for external resources. Creation of a positive environment and mobilisation of resources as well as the identification and bridging of obstacles are essential in the promotion of the overall well-being and mental health of PNPs. <![CDATA[<b>Prevention of mother to child transmission lay counsellors: Are they adequately trained?</b>]]> South Africa's high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected women requires a comprehensive health care approach to pregnancy because of the added risk of their HIV status. As a result of the shortage of health care workers in South Africa, lay counsellors play important roles in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). There is no standardization of training of lay counsellors in South Africa, and training varies in length depending on the training organisation. The study aimed to investigate the training of lay counsellors by analysing their training curricula and interviewing lay counsellors about their perceptions of their training. A two phase research method was applied. Phase one documented an analysis of the training curricula. Phase two was semi-structured interviews with the participants. Purposive sampling was undertaken for this study. The total sample size was 13 people, with a final sample of 9 participants, determined at the point of data saturation. The research was qualitative, descriptive and contextual in design. The curricula analysed had different styles of delivery, and the approaches to learning and courses varied, resulting in inconsistent training outcomes. A need for supervision and mentorship in the working environment was also noted. The training of lay counsellors needs to be adapted to meet the extended roles that they are playing in PMTCT. The standardization of training programmes, and the incorporation of a system of mentorship in the work environment, would ensure that the lay counsellors are adequately prepared for their role in PMTCT. <![CDATA[<b>The status of academic integrity amongst nursing students at a nursing education institution in the Western Cape</b>]]> Honesty is regarded as a basic ethical value in all educational programmes, and academic integrity is of undisputed importance in educational environments. The literature reviewed revealed that academic dishonesty is wide-ranging and also encountered in the nursing education environment. This phenomenon is of concern to the nursing fraternity because of the proven positive correlation between unethical academic practices and future unethical professional behaviour. Limited research data regarding academic dishonesty at nursing education institutions in South Africa and this correlation motivated the present study. The purpose was to examine the status of academic integrity amongst nursing students at a nursing education institution in the Western Cape. Formulated objectives guided investigation of several variables which impact upon academic integrity, for example the incidence of and student perceptions around academic dishonesty. A quantitative, descriptive survey design was used, with a self-reported questionnaire (based on literature review and study objectives) designed to obtain information about academic dishonesty. Provision was also made for qualitative input from the respondents by including three open-ended questions. It was found that academic dishonesty was a reality at the nursing education institution where this study was done. Cheating associated with plagiarism and assignments was identified as the main problem area. An unacceptably high level of dishonesty in completion of practical records was also an area of concern. The main recommendations are development and implementation of a code of honour and implementation of comprehensive academic integrity policies at the nursing education institution, with practical measures aimed at combating cheating in tests and examinations. <![CDATA[<b>The role of stigmas in mental health: A comparative study</b>]]> BACKGROUND: HIV (Human immunodeficiency Virus), AIDS and cancer are feared terminal diseases. HIV sufferers are known to be stigmatized. The stigma surrounding cancer, unfortunately, is hardly the focus of psychological investigations, and hence this provoked the need to compare the stigma suffered by both groups, and how these have impacted on the psychological functioning of the disease sufferer. OBJETIVES: The study had two main objectives, firstly, to explore whether HIV patients suffer more stigma than cancer patients or not, and secondly, to understand the most common type of stigma and if stigma is associated with psychopathology. Psychopathology is measured with GHQ-28 which evaluates somatic complaints, anxiety, depression and social dysfunction. METHOD: The study was a survey, and descriptive in nature, and anchored on two hypotheses: Firstly, that HIV patients will experience more stigmas than cancer patients and consequently report more psychological dysfunctions. Secondly that there will be a significant difference between types of stigma and the symptoms reported about them. Data were collected from a conveniently sampled group of 50 HIV positive patients and another 50 patients diagnosed with cancer, in two clinics and a hospital around the Gauteng Province. The majority of the participants were females, numbering 62 (62, 0%), whilst 38 (38.0%) were males. The age of the respondents ranged from 20-73 years with a mean age of 44.4 years (s.d. = 11.6). RESULTS: Results revealed a significant main effect for enacted stigma F = (1.98), = 17.629, p < .001 and anxiety F = (1.98) = 5.750, p < .001. A post hoc Bonferroni also showed that HIV patients had a higher mean score of enacted stigma (X-bar = 4.22) than cancer patients (X-bar = 1.28) and also HIV patients reported more anxiety (X-bar = 8.81) than cancer patients (X-bar = 6.42). Enacted stigma significantly influenced the GHQ Total (F = (98) = 1.700, p < .05); anxiety (F = (97) = 2.578, p < .004); and depression (F = (97) = 3.390 p < .001). The perceived community stigma had one main effect for depression (F = (1.98) = 1.452, p < .05). There were no significant main effects for internally felt stigma and psychological dysfunctions. Both hypotheses were partially supported. CONCLUSION: Recommendations included tailoring interventions to meet the cultural needs of patients. Other recommendations were made in accordance with the findings of the study. <![CDATA[<b>Knowledge, attitudes and practice of secondary school girls towards contraception in Limpopo Province</b>]]> Unplanned teenage pregnancy constitutes an important health problem, whilst contraceptive services are free throughout South Africa and the number of Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) services is increasing. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of secondary school girls towards Contraception in Thulamela Municipality of Limpopo Province, South Africa. A quantitative descriptive study design was used and respondents were selected by convenience sampling from a population of secondary school girls, the sample consisting of 273 girls in Grades 10-12. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data and analysed by computing frequencies and percentages using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Findings showed that respondents were aware of different contraceptive methods that can prevent pregnancy. However, most did not have knowledge of the emergency contraceptive, intra-uterine device and female condom. Pressure from male partners, fear of parental reaction to the use of contraceptives, reluctance to use contraceptives, poor contraceptive education and lack of counselling were seen as the main causes of ineffective contraceptive use and non-utilisation. Possible modalities of intervention deal with providing contraceptive counselling and care to empower these school girls to make informed choices on reproductive health. <![CDATA[<b>Factors contributing to teenage pregnancy in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province</b>]]> Teenage pregnancy refers to pregnancy of a woman of less than 19 years. It is found commonly amongst young people who have been disadvantaged and have poor expectations with regard to either their education or job market. Adolescents may lack knowledge of access to conventional methods of preventing pregnancy, as they may be afraid to seek such information. The study purpose was to identify factors contributing to teenage pregnancy in one village in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province. A quantitative descriptive research approach was chosen. Population consisted of all pregnant teenagers attending antenatal care during June to August 2007 at one clinic in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province. Simple random probability sampling was used to include 100 pregnant teenagers who satisfied the inclusion criteria. Data were collected through structured self-administered questionnaires. Descriptive statistical data analysis was used. Ethical considerations were ensured. Findings were classified as demographic data where 24% of the respondents were aged between 15-16 years and 76% were aged between 17-19 years. Findings further revealed that 60% of the respondents started to engage in sex at 13-15 years; 48% of the teenagers' partners were 21 years and above, 44% depended on a single parents' income; 20% father's income, 16% received a social grant and 8% lived on the pension fund of the grandparents. Pregnancy prevention strategies were recommended based on the results. The strategies focused on reproductive health services, male involvement and adult-teenager communication programmes. <![CDATA[<b>The academic transitional experiences of Masters' students at the University of the Western Cape</b>]]> Transition has been a major focus of educational institutions. However, most of the research into student transition focuses on the challenges related the transition from high school to university. Not much emphasis has been placed on the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate studies, despite the steadily increasing postgraduate enrolment rates in higher education institutions. The discrepancy between the enrolment and completion rates is an indication that postgraduate students are facing transitional challenges when engaging with postgraduate studies. The aim of this research study was to describe the academic transitional experiences of masters' students in the Faculty of Community Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape. The objectives were to determine the academic preparedness of postgraduate students, to explore their primary motivations for pursuing postgraduate studies, and to assess their utilisation of the available support services at UWC. A quantitative, exploratory, descriptive research design was employed. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with masters' students during 2009, using convenience sampling. Data was statistically analysed using the SPSS to provide descriptive statistics. The majority of the sample indicated a lack of academic preparedness, even though most of them had a bachelor's degree. The primary reasons listed as motivation for master's study were to improve knowledge and reaching self-actualisation. The majority is still eager to complete their studies. Most support systems were utilised and students rated these services as a positive experience that facilitates smooth academic transition. However, concerns are that not many students utilised the academic writing centre and those who did, rated the overall service as average. One of the main recommendations was that a research culture needs to be established at undergraduate level, as this would give students greater exposure to research activities. <![CDATA[<b>Grieving experiences amongst adolescents orphaned by AIDS: Analysis from event history calendars</b>]]> Mental health is an essential component of adolescent health and wellbeing. Mental health practitioners assess adolescents' mental health status to identify possible issues that may lead to mental health problems. However, very few of the tools used to assess the mental health status of adolescents include assessment for grieving and coping patterns. The current tools used for assessing an individual's mental health are lengthy and not comprehensive. The purpose of this study was to assess grieving patterns of adolescents orphaned by AIDS and to appraise the usefulness of an event history calendar as an assessment tool for identifying grieving experiences, in order to guide and support these adolescents through the grieving process. One hundred and two adolescents aged 14-18 years, who had been orphaned by AIDS, completed an event history calendar, reviewed it with the researcher and reported their perceptions of it. Thematic analysis of the event history calendar content revealed that it is an effective, time-efficient, adolescent-friendly tool that facilitated identification and discussion of the orphaned adolescents' grieving patterns. Crying, isolation, silence and violent outbursts were the main grieving patterns reported by adolescents orphaned by AIDS. The researcher recommends use of the event history calendar for identification of orphaned adolescents' grieving experiences. Early identification would enable mental health practitioners to support them in order to prevent the occurrence of mental illness due to maladaptive grieving. <![CDATA[<b>Learners' perceptions of learners regarded as having a homosexual orientation in an independent secondary school environment</b>]]> In schools today discrimination based on sexual orientation takes place on a regular basis. This form of discrimination leads to aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual, as well as towards those with a homosexual orientation. For more than 15 years South Africa has been a democratic country with laws that protect learners who have a homosexual orientation. Nevertheless, aggression and discrimination towards these learners still occur in schools. Aggression often leads to verbal and physical bullying of the victims by perpetrators. The objectives of this research were to explore and describe Grade 11 learners' experiences of aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual as well as those with a homosexual orientation in an independent secondary school environment. The research design was qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature. The data for this investigation consisted of essays based on a published newspaper photograph, phenomenological group interviews, observations and field notes. Tesch's method of data analysis was used, and an independent coder assisted. Three themes were identified, discussed and supported by a literature control: that learners experience that it is right and acceptable to have a homosexual orientation; that they experience ambivalence towards homosexual orientation of learners; and experienced feelings that it is wrong to have a homosexual orientation. Recommended guidelines are provided to address aggression towards learners perceived to be homosexual and those with a homosexual orientation. <![CDATA[<b>Spiritual nursing care: A concept analysis</b>]]> Although the concept 'spiritual nursing care' has its roots in the history of the nursing profession, many nurses in practice have difficulty integrating the concept into practice. There is an ongoing debate in the empirical literature about its definition, clarity and application in nursing practice. The study aimed to develop an operational definition of the concept and its application in clinical practice. A qualitative study was conducted to explore and describe how professional nurses render spiritual nursing care. A purposive sampling method was used to recruit the sample. Individual and focus group interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Trustworthiness was ensured through strategies of truth value, applicability, consistency and neutrality. Data were analysed using the NUD*IST power version 4 software, constant comparison, open, axial and selective coding. Tech's eight steps of analysis were also used, which led to the emergence of themes, categories and sub-categories. Concept analysis was conducted through a comprehensive literature review and as a result 'caring presence' was identified as the core variable from which all the other characteristics of spiritual nursing care arise. An operational definition of spiritual nursing care based on the findings was that humane care is demonstrated by showing caring presence, respect and concern for meeting the needs not only of the body and mind of patients, but also their spiritual needs of hope and meaning in the midst of health crisis, which demand equal attention for optimal care from both religious and nonreligious nurses. <![CDATA[<b>Perceptions of pregnant teenagers with regard to the antenatal care clinic environment</b>]]> Pregnancy in teenagers seems to be a challenge that might contribute to a struggle to fulfil the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals directly related to women's reproductive health and neonatal care. The challenge becomes worse as midwives and nurses find it difficult to fully supervise all these pregnancies, because teenagers stay away or default from clinic attendance. The purpose of the study was to explore and describe the perceptions of pregnant teenagers of the antenatal care (ANC) clinic environment and to recommend guidelines to midwifery operational managers for strategies to create teenager-friendly ANC clinic environments. The study applied a qualitative research design with explorative, descriptive and contextual research approaches. The ethical principles that guided this study were respect for the person, beneficence and justice. Semi-structured interviews utilising a predetermined interview schedule with a central open-ended question to address the study objectives were used. Data were collected from pregnant teenagers attending ANC clinics in Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. Participants were unanimous in that they perceived the clinic environment as causing discomfort to them. Different reasons attributed to this experience were related to their young age. The age difference between themselves and other women attending the clinic made participants perceive themselves as inferior and as being treated as such at the clinic. They found this embarrassing and recommended having their own waiting area and additional midwives at the clinic so that they would not be subjected to humiliating scrutiny and disapproval from older pregnant women. Pregnant teenagers' recall of their experiences of the ANC clinic environment suggests that they perceive themselves as not being adequately cared for, as judged, and as forced to be in an environment that is insensitive to their needs. As a result some of their peers stayed away from the clinic and at times they contemplated the same action. A well-managed ANC clinic environment which has midwives who are empowered with the necessary skills in terms of dealing with the needs of youth has been requested by the pregnant teenagers. <![CDATA[<b>Role of community nurses in the prevention of tuberculosis in the Tshwane Health District of Gauteng</b>]]> The objectives of this study were to identify the role of community nurses in the prevention of tuberculosis (TB) and to identify problems experienced by them when fulfilling this role in the Tshwane Health District of Gauteng. A non-experimental, descriptive, quantitative research design method was used to collect data from community nurses. The sample included 59 registered nurses who voluntarily agreed to participate in the study. A questionnaire was used to collect data and quantitative data analysis methods were employed. Various opinions and ideas on the role of community nurses in the prevention of TB and the problems experienced were identified. Based on the results of this research, measures to protect community nurses from contracting TB whilst on duty should be a priority. Government should support TB programmes by providing money to non-governmental organisations and direct observed treatment short course (DOTS) supporters to make follow-up visits to patients possible, thus reducing the number of defaulters. Stringent measures should be taken at all border points to ensure that foreigners are screened for TB, multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB. This study was limited to community nurses in the Tshwane Health District of Gauteng who were registered with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and therefore this study could not be generalised to registered nurses in the hospital setting or even to clinics in the rest of South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Integrating Prevention of Mother to Child HIV Transmission competencies into the nursing curriculum: Methodological lessons from a university-based undergraduate programme</b>]]> South Africa (SA) has the highest number of women infected with HIV and AIDS during pregnancy, which results in more than 70 000 infected babies being born each year AIDS is the major contributor to maternal and child morbidities and mortalities in the country. To combat this, the SA government has developed a national policy to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). However, for effective implementation of this policy, there is a dire need for a competent, skilled health worker to render the service. In response to this, the School of Nursing at the University of the Western Cape has integrated PMTCT competencies into the undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing Science curriculum. In this paper, we described teaching and learning approaches used to integrate PMTCT competencies, including the skills laboratory methodology and case-based learning, as well as a portfolio of evidence assessment tool. A quantitative descriptive design was used to analyse data collected from students in regard to assessment of PMTCT competencies achieved. The study used the conceptual framework of Lenburg's competency outcomes and performance assessment model, which focuses on competency development and assessment in a clinical environment. HIV competencies, including PMTCT, should be integrated both theoretically and at service delivery into other nursing and midwifery competencies, including assessment strategies. Provincial policies in provision of antiretrovirals by nurses and midwives become barriers to successful implementation of PMTCT, resulting in limited learning opportunities for students to practice PMTCT competencies. Further research is required to assess an attribute, affect, which is another prong for competencies. <![CDATA[<b>Quality of life domains relevant to people living with HIV and AIDS who are on antiretroviral therapy in Swaziland</b>]]> Quality of life (QOL) domains that are context specific to people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Swaziland are unknown. This presents a problem when research has to be conducted on QOL of PLWHA who are on ART. As a result, this study was conducted to identify, validate and describe domains necessary to assess QOL of PLWHA, who are on ART in Swaziland. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive, and contextual design was used for this study. The first phase dealt with a review of fifty existing QOL definitions and the identification of the common domains amongst them. Findings from this review revealed that the most common domains of QOL are the physiological, psychological, spiritual and socio-economic domains. The second phase was the validation of the above common domains identified from the examined QOL definitions to make them context specific to PLWHA who are on ART in Swaziland. A workshop was used to validate the domains with expert nurses involved in the care of PLWHA in Swaziland. The experts in ART care were trained on ART and had more than a year's experience of working with PLWHA who are on ART. The validation process revealed that the essential context specific domains to consider when assessing QOL of PLWHA who are on ART are, (1) physiological domain, (2) psychological domain, (3) spiritual domain, (4) socio-economic domain, (5) cognitive domain, and (6) environmental domain. The process of validation of the domains was important as two extra domains were revealed, which were not initially recognised by the researcher during literature review. <![CDATA[<b>Knowledge of, and attitudes towards, Voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing services amongst adolescent high school students in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia</b>]]> Voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VHCT) is one of the key strategies in the prevention of HIV in Ethiopia. However, utilisation of the VHCT services amongst adolescents has been reported as low by previous studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate adolescents' knowledge and attitudes towards VHCT services amongst adolescents attending high school in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. A cross-sectional school-based design using quantitative methods was employed to attain the objectives of the study. Data collection was done using self-administered structured questionnaires amongst 378 adolescent high school students. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings revealed that 75.7% of students are aware of the voluntary HIV counselling and testing services; 62.2% use the services and suggested that VHCT services should be located in schools and youth clubs for better access by adolescents. Thirty-two percent of respondents rated themselves at risk of HIV infection and 35.2% were not willing to disclose their HIVpositive status to anybody. The findings of the study clearly indicate a need for a more accessible voluntary HIV counselling and testing services for adolescents.