AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
To examine the experiences of caregiving among Vietnamese family members of persons living with HIV/AIDS.
As the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS increases, the need of family caregivers who can take responsibility for the home care of these persons increases. Vietnam has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in Asia.
A descriptive cross-sectional study with quantitative and qualitative methods was used.
A purposive sample of 104 family caregivers, both male and female, participated voluntarily by answering a questionnaire of caregiver burden, and 20 of them participated in in-depth interview.
Female caregivers were mainly mothers and wives while male caregivers were mainly husbands, fathers and siblings. The largest group of family caregivers reported moderate to severe burden. There was no difference between genders in total caregiver burden, but there were several differences between older and younger caregivers in some items of caregiver burden. Five categories of experiences emerged: Different types of caregiving to persons living with HIV/AIDS, cultural and religious issues associated with caregiving, keeping secret to avoid stigma and discrimination, lack of knowledge about disease and provision of care, and fear, anxiety and frustration.
Stigma and discrimination should be decreased by providing knowledge to the general public about HIV/AIDS, in particular about ways of transmission and protection. Special knowledge should be given to family caregivers to enable them to give care to persons living with HIV/AIDS at home. This could be done through culturally appropriate training/intervention programmes in which coping methods should be included. Support group interventions should also be carried through. The results obtained can be used as baseline information.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:
Health care providers should consider gender, age and culture of family members of persons living with HIV/AIDS. Knowledge about HIV/AIDS, provision of care at home and in hospital, and support groups should be developed and implemented.
2016. Vol. 25, no 5-6, 788-798 p.
experiences of caregiving, family caregivers, persons living with HIV/AIDS, Vietnam