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Evaluation of a Brief Intervention to Improve the Nursing Care of Young Children in a High HIV and AIDS Setting

Journal title
Nursing research and practice
Publication year
Richter, L. M.; Rochat, T. J.; Hsiao, C.; Zuma, T. H.

The HIV epidemic in South Africa is putting great strain on health services, including the inpatient care of young children. Caregivers and young children (107 pairs) and 17 nurses participated in an intervention to improve the care of young children in hospital in a high HIV and AIDS setting. The intervention addressed caregiver expectations about admission and treatment, responsive feeding, coping with infant pain and distress, assistance with medical procedures, and preparation for discharge and home care. Following a preparatory and piloting phase, measures of nurse burnout, caregiver physical and emotional well-being, and caregiver-child interaction were made before and after intervention. No changes were found between before and after intervention on assessments of caregiver wellbeing. However, mothers in the postintervention phase rated nurses as more supportive; mother-child interaction during feeding was more relaxed and engaged, and babies were less socially withdrawn. While the intervention proved useful in improving certain outcomes for children and their caregivers, it did not address challenging hospital and ward administration or support needed by caregivers at home following discharge. To address the latter need, the intervention has been extended into the community through home-based palliative care and support.

Research abstracts