Original Research

Health maintenance and low socio-economic status: A family perspective

Claudette D. Ncho, Susan C.D. Wright
Curationis | Vol 36, No 1 | a22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v36i1.22 | © 2013 Claudette D. Ncho, Susan C.D. Wright | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 July 2011 | Published: 17 September 2013

About the author(s)

Claudette D. Ncho, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Susan C.D. Wright, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

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The socio-economic status of people has a profound influence on health, as higher rates of
morbidity and mortality are reported for individuals with lower socio-economic status. Due
to the increased burden of disease, research exploring how families maintain their health in
a low socio-economic situation is an urgent priority. The objective of the study was to gain
an understanding of the reality families are confronted with in terms of their health due to
their socio-economic status. The study was contextual, qualitative and exploratory using
purposive sampling methods. The sample size was governed by data saturation and realised
as 17 families (n = 17). The participants for the study were families residing in Soshanguve
Extension 12 and 13, South Africa. The data collection method was self-report using a semi-structured interview. Content analysis was done according to Tesch’s approach using open
coding. Five themes based on the theoretical basis of the study, including age, sex and genetic
constitution, individual lifestyle factors, social and community networks, living and working
conditions and general socio-economic status were used. Maintaining the health of people
living in a physically and psychosocially disadvantaged position requires a different approach
from registered professional nurses. No community-specific intervention can be planned and
implemented to reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable disease in the
community without evidence based on a family perspective.


Determinants; family perspective; health; health maintenance; low socio-economic status


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