SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.31 issue2 author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google



On-line version ISSN 2223-6279
Print version ISSN 0379-8577

Curationis vol.31 n.2 Pretoria  2008




The impact of caring for persons living with HIV and AIDS on the mental health of nurses in the Limpopo Province



M Davhana-MaseleseleI; JO IgumborII

ID PhiL. Department of Nursing Science, North West University (Mafikeng Campus)
IIMPH. Lecturer, Department of Public Health, University of Venda





This study assessed the impact of caring for AIDS sufferers on the mental health of nurses. This assessment was measured against the level of burnout, stress and depression among 174 nurses caring for people living with HIV and AIDS in Limpopo Province, South Africa. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire incorporated the AIDS Impact Scale (AIS), Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the participants' demographic and professional profiles. Participants were conveniently selected from five selected hospitals in Limpopo Province. The study participants' valuation using the AIS showed that nurses tended to develop strong bonds and relationships with the patients; felt frustrated by their inability to help the terminally ill AIDS sufferers and were subsequently affected by the death of their patients. Personal accomplishments of the nurses remained high and the levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization levels were low. The BDI showed that over 3 out of 4 nurses were experiencing between mild mood disturbance and extreme depression. Higher average scores were noted for items of the depression scale like sadness, dissatisfaction, fatigue and low level of energy. The findings highlight the need to develop psychological support programmes for nurses caring for AIDS patients and promote the provision of social incentives and recognition of the role of nurses in AIDS care.

Keywords: AIDS Impact Scale (AIS), burnout among nurses, depression, HIV and AIDS impact, nurses



“Full text available only in PDF format”




BENNETTE, I; ROSS, MW & SUNDERLAND, R 1996: The relationship between recognition, reward and burnout in AIDS caring. AIDS Care. 8(2): 145-153.         [ Links ]

BENNETT, L; KELAHER,M & ROSS, MW 1994: The impact of working with HIV/AIDS on health care professionals: development of the AIDS Impact Scale. Psychology and Health: an International Journal 9:273-283.         [ Links ]

CHANDRA, PS; JAIRAM, KR & JACOB, A 2004: Factors related to staff stress in HIV/AIDS related palliative care. Indian Journal of Palliative Care. 10(2): 48-54        [ Links ]

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICAN (DOH) 2004: National HIV and syphilis antenatal sero-prevalence survey In South Africa 2004. Pretoria: DOH.         [ Links ]

DORRINGTON, RE; JOHNSON, IF; BRADSHAW, D & DANIEL,T 2006: The Demographic Impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa: National and Provincial Indicators for 2006. Cape Town: Centre for Actuarial Research, South African Medical Research Council and Actuarial Society of South Africa.         [ Links ]

ERGIN, C1992: Adaptation of Maslach Burnout Inventory forTurkish Nurses and physicians. Ankara VII. Ulusal Psikoloji Kongresi Bilimsel Yayýnlarý p: 143-155.         [ Links ]

LI, L; LIN, C; WU, Z; WU, M; ROTHERAM-BORUS, MJ; DETELS, R & JIA, M 2007: Stigmatization and shame: Consequences of caring for HIV/ AIDS patients in China. AIDS Care. 19(2): 258-263.         [ Links ]

MALULEKE, TX; NDHLOVU, L & IGUMBOR, JO 2006: Current Practices in Paediatric ARV Rollout and Integration with Early Childhood Programmes in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Thohoyandou: UNIVEN.         [ Links ]

MARCHAL, B; DE BROUWERE, V & KEGELS, G 2005: Viewpoint: HIV/AIDS and the health workforce crisis: what are the next steps? Tropical Medicine and International Health, 10:300 - 304.         [ Links ]

MASLACH, C & JACKSON, SE1981: The Maslach Burnout Inventory. California: Consulting Psychologist Press.         [ Links ]

MASLACH, C1976: Burned out. Human Behaviour, 5:16-22.         [ Links ]

MAVHANDU-MUDZUSI, AH; NETSHANDAMA, VO & DAVHANA-MASELESELE, M 2007: Nurses' experiences of delivering voluntary counseling and testing services for people with HIV/AIDS in the Vhembe district, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Nursing and Health Sciences 9(issue no): 254-262.         [ Links ]

NESBITT, WH; ROSS, MW; SUNDERLAND, RH & SHELP, E 1996: Prediction of grief and HIV/AIDS-related burnout in volunteers. AIDS Care 8: 137 -143.         [ Links ]

UNAIDS 2006: Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic. Geneva: UNAIDS.         [ Links ]

VISINTINI, R; CAMPANINI, E; FOSSATI, A; BAGNATO, M; NOVELLA, L & MAFFEI, C 1996: Psychological stress in nurses' relationship with HIV-infected patients: the risk of burnout syndrome. AIDS Care. 8(2):183-194.         [ Links ]

WALLACK, J 1989: AIDS anxiety among health care professionals. Hospital and Community Psychiatry. 40: 507-510.         [ Links ]

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION 2006: World Health Report. Geneva: WHO        [ Links ]



M. Davhana-Maselesele
Department of Nursing Science
North West University
(Mafikeng Campus)
Mmabatho, 2735
Tel: (018) 389-2236; Fax:(018)389-2052

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License