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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

JOOSTE, Karien; CHABELI, Mary  and  SPRINGER, Monica. The health care needs of the physically disabled patient in a home-based care environment: Implications for the training of ancillary health care workers. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.1, pp. 1-8. ISSN 1025-9848.

According to existing literature, ancillary health care workers (AHCWs) often do not meet the health care needs of patients with physical disabilities (physically disabled patients) in a home-based environment, because of inadequate training programmes. The purpose of this research study was to explore the health care needs of physically disabled patients in long-term, home-based care in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and, based on results, to offer recommendations for the training of AHCWs. Qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual means were employed in data collection and analysis. The population consisted of eight physically disabled participants who employed an AHCW to assist them with their long-term home care. Purposive sampling was used with subsequent snowballing to identify further participants for the study. Individual interviews were conducted, where participants had to answer the questions (1)'What are your health care needs?' and (2) 'How should these be met?' Data saturation was ensured, after which Tesch's method of data analysis was followed. Three categories of health care needs were identified (1) physical health care needs, (2) interpersonal relationship needs and (3) social needs, and 12 themes were derived from these categories. These categories of health care needs should be addressed in the training of AHCWs. From the themes, recommendations were described for the training of AHCWs on the health care needs of the home-based physically disabled patients. The AHCW should assist in the adaptation of the environment to the patient's individual needs, and should use knowledge and critical thinking skills to ensure a patient-centred care setting.

Keywords : experiences; guidelines; health care worker; nursing; training needs.

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