The experiences of Batswana families regarding hospice care of AIDS patients in the Bophirima district, North West province, South Africa
The HIV/AIDS pandemic put significant strain on healthcare services in the country. Hospitals were no longer coping with the escalating number of AIDS patients. This resulted in the early discharge of patients, with some patients, too ill to be nursed at home, being sent to hospices for continued care. The Batswana had mixed feelings about hospice care, because their beliefs on patient care are based on the ubuntu philosophy, which emphasises the principle of caring for one another. The purpose
... nother. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of Batswana families regarding hospice care for patients in the Thlabane township in the province of the North West as well as to make recommendations to policy-makers to ensure that hospices are accepted by community members and utilised effectively. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive research design was applied. Purposive sampling was applied to select study participants with whom in-depth unstructured interviews were conducted. A qualitative data analysis was done by categorising, ordering, and summarising the data, and describing the findings. The findings indicated that families of patients in hospice care experienced such care as foreign to their culture. These families also experienced stigmatisation, firstly owing to the stigma associated with AIDS and secondly because they opted for hospice care. However, they also observed the high quality of care provided by the hospice and understood its benefits for AIDS patients. The study concluded that hospice care relieved families of terminally ill AIDS patients of the burden of care and enabled them to keep on working and earning a living. Recommendations to policy-makers included enhancing hospice care and ensuring the provisioning of culturally safe hospice care.