'A bridge to the hospice': The impact of a Community Volunteer Programme in Uganda
Evidence-based Practice Research Centre (EPRC), Edge Hill University, Faculty of Health, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire L39 4QP, United Kingdom; Hospice Africa Uganda, Little Hospice Hoima, Uganda; Hospice Africa Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
In Africa, the need for palliative care provision is escalating with an increasing number of people living with HIV/AIDS, coupled with rising cancer and AIDS-related cancer diagnoses. In Uganda there is a shortage of doctors, particularly in rural areas. To address this Hospice Africa Uganda developed a Community Volunteer Programme to train volunteers to help by providing support to patients in their own homes. The aim of this qualitative study was to evaluate the impact of the Community Volunteer Programme. Sixty-four interviews, with patients (21), community volunteer workers (CVWs) (32), and the hospice clinical teams (11) were conducted, using semi-structured digitally recorded individual, group and focus group interviews, at the Hospice Africa Uganda sites. The results reported the value of the Community Volunteer Programme, including the impact on patients and families, and how the CVWs acted as a 'bridge to the hospice' in identifying patients. Developing financial challenges that are emerging which could potentially impact on the programme were reported. The Community Volunteer Programme appears to be having a positive impact on patients, families and the hospice team, and is a model worthy of consideration by other developing countries to allow the expansion of palliative care. © 2011 SAGE Publications.
adult; aged; article; clinical article; community program; developing country; female; health program; hospice; hospital personnel; human; male; palliative therapy; qualitative research; semi structured interview; Uganda; voluntary worker; Adult; Community Health Services; Counseling; Developing Countries; Female; Focus Groups; Health Services Needs and Demand; HIV Infections; Hospice Care; Hospital Volunteers; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Neoplasms; Patient Care Team; Program Development; Program Evaluation; Qualitative Research; Rural Population; Uganda