CAREGIVING BURDEN AND ADJUSTMENTS OF FAMILY MEMBERS OF TERMINALLY ILL PERSONS ADMITTED IN A UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL IN NIGERIA

Oluwatoyin Abayomi Ogunyewo, Olabisi F Ibitoye, Adeyinka G Ishola, Adedoyin Olanlesi-Aliu, Juliana A Afemikhe

Abstract


Introduction: Prolonged hospitalization is a function of the nature of conditions presented by the ill persons. Terminal diseases are irreversibly progressive in nature. Conditions such as cancers, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, leukemia, HIV/AIDS are classified as terminal illnesses with poor recovery outcome.

Objective: This study examined the effects, and the coping strategies adopted by family members of terminally-ill persons during a period of prolonged hospitalization.

Methods: The study took place at Jos University Teaching Hospital where the relations significant ones of various terminally-ill persons were used as participants for the study. Fifty people participated in the study. The instrument of data collection was a questionnaire which had three sections: socio-demographic profile; effects of hospitalization; and coping strategies.

Findings: The study revealed that patients’ family members and relations use different coping strategies such as spiritual and social support, borrowing from friends and relations, and having the grasp of the reality of the health condition as means of adjusting to the prolonged effects of hospitalization.

Conclusion & Recommendations: The family resources are often overstretched during terminal illness period, and the need to give adequate support to the ill persons, who are part of the family during a challenging period, cannot be discounted. This situation requires nurses as a helping resource toward enhancing family members’ capacities as these would enable them to function at an optimal level during the period of stress. Nurses are expected to guide families as to how they can explore the available support system, and community resources needed by families to make necessary adjustments to prolonged hospitalization.


Keywords


Terminal-illness, caregiving, burden, effect, adjustment

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