Title page for ETD etd-11202008-163831

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Jumah, Anne Mukeli
Email mukelianne@yahoo.co.uk
URN etd-11202008-163831
Document Title The nature and extent of palliative care in the Nairobi hospice
Degree MSW
Department Social Work and Criminology
Advisor Name Title
Dr J Sekudu Supervisor
  • care givers
  • counselling
  • health
  • hospice
  • palliative care
  • social worker
  • terminal illness
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • cancer
Date 2008-09-05
Availability restricted

The goal of this study was to explore the nature and extent of palliative care in the Nairobi Hospice, in Kenya. Owing to the limited information available on this subject, the study is based on a research question that seeks to deepen understanding of the experiences of palliative care services by patients facing life-threatening illnesses.

In answering the research question, the study employed a variety of methods. First, it used qualitative research approach in order to unearth personal experiences of the value of services received. Second, it employed applied research with the aim of using results to influence the formulation and improvement of palliative care programs in Nairobi. Further, the study employed the case study method as the research strategy.

Focus group interviews were utilised as the data collection technique. The researcher used an interview schedule and administered semi-structured questions on a group basis. Availability sampling method was used to draw a sample of 20 patients receiving palliative care at the Nairobi Hospice.

Confirmation from the study indicated that patients receive medical care, counselling, and spiritual care as well as day care services, usually provided by the hospice staff. The study further confirmed the value of palliative care. Services provided offered a number of benefits for the patients for instance, enhanced hope, mobility, as well as improved state of health for these patients.

At the same time the study underscored the value of spiritual guidance. However this was provided as an additional service, being offered outside the hospice. Measures to integrate this service would improve the value of palliative care services in general. Further, it was noted that there was no particular time frame for receiving palliative care at the hospice since patients receive care at different intervals.

The study also disclosed that patientsí illnesses impacted on their families negatively for example, a number of these patients were either abandoned or separated from their families, their families suffered financial strains while others were in denial and felt very desperate about the whole situation.

The study conclusively indicated that social workers can play a vital role in palliative care provision by either conducting regular home visits, educating and creating awareness as well as offering counselling services to both the patients and their families.

© University of Pretoria 2008

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