Knowledge, attitude and practice of home-based care for HIV/AIDS patients by their family/ caregivers at Jimma Town

Be'eletsega Tibebu, Abebe G/Mariam, Tefera Belachew
Ethiopian Medical Journal 2007, 45 (3): 283-92

BACKGROUND: About 1.5 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia-one of the largest HIV infected populations in the world. The current prevalence rate of infection is estimated at 4.4% nationally. Hospital bed occupancy rate due to AIDS has reached over 50% in urban hospitals creating a severe burden to the health service system in the country, or else US $3.4 million is needed in order to increase their bed capacity. Here arises the need to look for a better way of caring for people living with HIV/AIDS. Home care would thus offer the only feasible option for this need as it can mobilize the considerable reservoir of caring and sympathy that exists within a community beyond that of cost cutting. The study was conducted to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of family/caregivers regarding home-based care for people living with HIV/AIDS.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional community-based study conducted among 274 family/caregivers who were giving care for people living with HIV/AIDS in urban setting of Jimma town from June - August 2005. A structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and attitude towards home based care practice. Data collection was done by interviewing family/caregivers at their respective houses and analyzed using SPSS for windows version 11.0.

RESULTS: Over three fourth of the studied subjects (91.6%) were knowledgeable about home based care and 88.7% showed favorable attitude. Ninety two point eight percent agreed that home is a better place for the care of PLWHA than hospital. Single caregivers were about four times more likely to be knowledgeable about home care as compared to their counterparts (OR = 3.98 (95% CI: 0.50, 88.08), but the finding was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Neighbors and friends were two times more likely to have favorable attitude towards HBC as compared to family members, OR = 1.96 (95% CI: 0.74, 5.21) but, the finding is not statistically significant (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The study highlighted that the majority of family members/caregivers have good knowledge and favorable attitude towards HBC and over half favored this care. Therefore, appropriate use of the above promising findings and experience of innovative approaches of HBC from other countries is recommended for further, more organized and effective home-based care practice.

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