Original Research

Impact of caring for people living with HIV on the psychosocial well-being of palliative caregivers

Lavashni Valjee, Alta C. van Dyk
Curationis | Vol 37, No 1 | a1201 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v37i1.1201 | © 2014 Lavashni Valjee, Alta C. van Dyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 July 2013 | Published: 17 October 2014

About the author(s)

Lavashni Valjee, Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Alta C. van Dyk, Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues to be a serious public health issue, and it is often the caregivers who carry the brunt of the epidemic. Caregivers of people with AIDS face distinctive demands that could make them more prone to occupational stress, with serious consequences for their psychosocial well-being. The impact of caring for people living with HIV infection on the psychosocial well-being of palliative caregivers was investigated using in-depth interviews and questionnaires in 28 participants. The results indicated no burnout, but occupational stress was prevalent. Factors impacting negatively on well-being were stressors inherent in AIDS care, such as suffering and dying of the persons being cared for, work-related stressors such as heavy workload, lack of support and ineffective coping mechanisms. Positive aspects of caring such as job satisfaction, holistic palliative care, effective coping mechanisms and psychosocial support were identified. Recommendations to curb the negative effects of caregiving are provided.

Keywords

burnout; job satisfaction; occupational stress; workplace support; work-related stressors

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