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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versão On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versão impressa ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.17 no.1 Cape Town  2012




The experiences of AIDS orphans living in a township



Dalena van RooyenI; Sharron FroodII; Esmeralda RicksI

IDepartment of Nursing Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
IIGogo Trust, South Africa





An overwhelming challenge to health-care professionals today, is the rendering of care services to AIDS orphans. This article is based on a study that explored and described the lived experiences of AIDS orphans in a township in order to understand their 'life world' as AIDS orphans. A further purpose was to provide information to primary health-care nurses (PHCNs), related professionals and partners involved in the care of these children, so that they could plan a care response to meet the orphans' unique needs. A qualitative research design that used an explorative, descriptive, contextual and phenomenological strategy of inquiry was employed. Data were collected by means of in-depth interviews from a purposively selected sample, and were analysed according to the steps of qualitative data analysis proposed by Tesch (Creswell 1994). Guba's model was used to ensure the trustworthiness of the qualitative data. Two main themes and their sub-themes were identified. The first theme was that children experience devastating changes in their life circumstances when they become AIDS orphans. The second theme highlighted how the participants rediscovered hope to persevere. Recommendations directed at nursing practice, education and research, were made based upon the findings.


'n Uitdaging wat professionele gesondheidswerkers huidiglik oorweldig, is dienslewering aan VIGS weeskinders. Die doel van die studie was om die geleefde ervaring van kinders wat in dorpsgebiede woon en VIGS weeskinders geword het, te verken en te beskryf ten einde hul leefwereld te verstaan. Hierdie inligting kan deur Primêre Gesondheidsorg Verpleegkundiges (PVGs), verwante beroepslui en vennote betrokke by die versorging van hierdie kinders, gebruik word as basis om versorging te beplan wat in die kinders se unieke behoeftes sal voorsien. 'n Kwalitatiewe navorsingsontwerp met verkennende, beskrywende, kontekstuele en fenomologiese strategieë van ondersoek, is gebruik. Data is versamel deur middel van in-diepte onderhoude met 'n doelbewus geselekteerde steekproef. Data is geanaliseer ooreenkomstig die stappe van kwalitatiewe data analise volgens Tesch (in Creswell 1994). Guba se model was gebruik om die betroubaarheid van data te bepaal. Twee hooftemas en hul subtemas is geïdentifiseer. Die eerste tema was dat kinders dramatiese veranderinge in hulle lewensomstandighede ervaar wanneer hulle VIGS weeskinders word. Die tweede tema wat na vore gekom het, was hoe die deelnemers die hoop om voort te gaan met die lewe, herontdek het. Aanbevelings, gebaseer op die bevindinge, is gemaak wat verpleegpraktyk, onderrig en navorsing sal rig.



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Dalena van Rooyen
PO Box 77000
Port Elizabeth 6013
South Africa

Received: 28 June 2010
Accepted: 07 Nov. 2011
Published: 21 Feb. 2012

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