An evaluation of a palliative care outreach programme for children with Burkitt lymphoma in rural Cameroon
International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany; Banso Baptist Hospital, Cameroon; Nottingham University Hospitals, United Kingdom; Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Trust, United Kingdom; Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Background: Palliative care (PC) is the most appropriate treatment for patients with life-limiting, incurable diseases, but it is a relatively new concept in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A lack of curative treatment options for some conditions creates a great need for PC, but such services are rarely provided in SSA. More research into PC in SSA is urgently needed to create an evidence base to confirm the importance of appropriate PC services. Objectives: To gain a better understanding of the needs of patients and their families visited by a children's PC nurse in Cameroon and to identify aspects of the service that can be improved. Methodology: A qualitative study design with semi-structured interviews was used. Tape-recorded interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. Results: Twelve interviews were conducted with patients, carers and nurses. Financial aid, general disease improvement and prayers were the directly expressed needs of service recipients. Specialist training in children's PC was the main need expressed by the nurses. Open communication about clinical status and treatment failure, more detailed counselling, more distraction for patients and respite for carers were identified as underlying needs. Conclusion: It is possible to provide an effective children's PC service that meets the most urgent needs of recipients in a rural setting in SSA. Recommendations include improved counselling, specialist education for staff, expansion of local support networks and more frequent home visits. More studies are needed to help define the need for PC in children with life-limiting diseases. © 2015 MA Healthcare Ltd.
adolescent; Burkitt lymphoma; Cameroon; child; child health care; family; female; health care planning; health service; human; interview; male; nursing; palliative therapy; program evaluation; rural population; standards; Adolescent; Burkitt Lymphoma; Cameroon; Child; Child Health Services; Family; Female; Health Services Needs and Demand; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Male; Medically Underserved Area; Palliative Care; Program Evaluation; Rural Population