An exploration of undergraduate nursing students experiences of an HIV/AIDS support group and its activities

Sixaba, Nqabisa Lucia (2014-12)

Thesis (MCurr)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are critical concerns worldwide; this is particularly true of South Africa. The consequences of HIV infection and complications of AIDS are a challenge that extends into the nursing profession and into the community of student nurses. Support groups can form an important part in educating nursing students about HIV and AIDS, as well as in supporting nursing students through the processes of counselling, testing and managing the physical, as well as other impacts of this syndrome. When considering the current situation at an Eastern Cape nursing college and the literature reviewed on this topic, the research question posed for this study was: ‘Why is the support offered by the HIV support group to the nursing students having such a limited effect on the students’ motivation to participate in HIV counselling and testing (HCT) and support activities to de-stigmatise HIV/AIDS?’ The aim of this study was to explore and describe the nursing students’ experiences and perceptions of the support group activities in order to improve the relevance of this initiative for students. The objectives of this study were to - Explore and describe the student’s experiences and perceptions of the support group activities - Identify and describe the student’s expectations of the support group. A qualitative approach with an exploratory and descriptive design was used to elicit data to answer the research question. Ethical approval was obtained from the Health Research Ethics Committee and access to the college campus was obtained through the appropriate authorities. The accessible population for this study were 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students at one campus of the provincial nursing college in the Eastern Cape. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with eight participants who met the study inclusion criteria of having had experience of the support group and its activities. Interviews were recorded and transcribed by the researcher. Content analysis was used to analyse the interview data through applying Tesch’s eight steps of analysis. Data analysis revealed that participants did not experience the support group as helpful; although they had joined the support group they remained fearful of receiving test results and what their future may hold should they be diagnosed as being HIV positive. The participants experienced rejection and discrimination by the support group committee members; they also identified that the committee displayed hypocritical behaviours and a lack of respect for confidentiality of information which further undermined the functioning and influence of the group. Results revealed that joining the support group means one is automatically stigmatised as being HIV positive. The support group committee members were seen to be inaccessible having only limited communication with participants. Recommendations from the study were to hold personal and group development sessions for the committee and interested students to assist them in learning how to manage ethical issues related to counselling and testing, how to conduct effective campaigns to de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS, and to determine clearly what the purpose of this particular group is that it may better meet the needs of the student group. Limitations of this study were that the qualitative research approach that was applied limited the generalisation of the findings. The study focused only on experiences and perceptions of the undergraduate nursing students on one campus of the nursing college about the support group and its activities. Thus, the study offered an initial insight into the current negative perceptions of students towards the support group and offered a foundation for further investigation. In conclusion, experiences and perceptions of the support group were explored and elaborated on. Currently, the support group does not offer the support the students would like to be available as the fundamental functioning of the group is compromised by a lack of trust between students and the committee members.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die menslike immuungebreksvirus (MIV) en verworwe immuniteitsgebreksindroom (VIGS) is wêreldwyd kommerwekkende aangeleenthede, veral met betrekking tot Suid-Afrika. Die gevolge van MIV-infeksie en komplikasies van VIGS is uitdagings wat die verpleegberoep en die verpleegstudente-gemeenskap met verreikende gevolge raak. Ondersteuningsgroepe kan ’n belangrike rol speel om verpleegstudente in verband met MIV en VIGS op te lei, asook om ondersteuning te bied deur middel van die prosesse van berading, toetsing en die bestuur van die fisiese en ander gevolge van die sindroom. Toe die huidige situasie by ’n Oos-Kaapse verpleegkollege, asook die literatuuroorsig oor die onderwerp in oënskou geneem is, is die navorsingsvraag vir die studie gestel: “Waarom het die ondersteuning wat deur die ondersteuningsgroep aan die studentverpleegsters aangebied word so ’n beperkte effek op die studente se motivering om deel te neem aan MIV-berading en toetsing, asook ondersteuningsaktiwiteite om MIV/VIGS te destigmatiseer?” Die doel van hierdie studie was om die verpleegstudente se ervaringe en persepsies van die ondersteuningsgroep se aktiwiteite te ondersoek en te beskryf, ten einde die relevansie van hierdie inisiatief vir die studente te verbeter. Die doelwitte van hierdie studie was om die student se: - ervaringe en persepsies van die ondersteuningsgroep se aktiwiteite te ondersoek en te beskryf - verwagtinge van die ondersteuningsgroep te identifiseer en te beskryf. ’n Kwalitatiewe benadering met ’n ondersoekende en beskrywende ontwerp is gebruik om die data aan die lig te bring om sodoende die navorsingsvraag te beantwoord. Etiese goedkeuring is van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch se Gesondheidsnavorsingsetiekkomitee verkry en toegang tot die kollege-kampus is deur die betrokke owerhede verleen. Die toeganklike bevolking vir die studie was eerste-, tweede-, derde- en vierdejaarstudente by een kampus van die provinsiale verpleegkollege in die Oos-Kaap. Deurtastende individuele onderhoude is met agt deelnemers gevoer wat aan die studie se inklusiewe kriteria voldoen het en wat ondervinding het van die ondersteuningsgroep en hul aktiwiteite. Data is deur die navorser opgeneem en getranskribeer. Inhoudelike analise is gebruik om die data van die onderhoud te analiseer deur Tesch se ag stappe van analise toe te pas. Analise van die data het aan die lig gebring dat deelnemers nie die ondersteuningsgroep as behulpsaam ervaar nie. Ten spyte van aansluiting by die ondersteuningsgroep bly hulle angstig vir wanneer toetsresultate ontvang moet word en wat dit vir hul toekoms mag inhou indien hulle MIV-positief gediagnoseer word. Die deelnemers het verwerping en diskriminasie deur die ondersteuningsgroep se komitee-lede ervaar; hulle het ook skynheilige optredes en ’n gebrek aan respek vir vertroulikheid van inligting wat die funksionering en invloed van die groep verder ondermyn, geïdentifiseer. Resultate het aan die lig gebring dat aansluiting by die ondersteuningsgroep beteken dat hulle outomaties gestigmatiseer word as MIVpositief. Die komitee van die ondersteuningsgroep word gesien as ontoeganklik met beperkte kommunikasie met die deelnemers. Aanbevelings vanuit die studie sluit in die opvoeding en die ontwikkeling van ’n komitee en belangstellende studente om etiese kwessies te bestuur wat verband hou met berading en toetsing, veldtogte om MIV/VIGS te destigmatiseer en om duidelik te bepaal watter tipe ondersteuningsgroep hierdie betrokke groep moet nastreef om te wees. Beperkinge van hierdie studie is dat ’n kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenadering toegepas is wat die veralgemening van die bevindings beperk het. Die studie het slegs gefokus op ervaringe en persepsies van die voorgraadse verpleegstudente op een kampus van die verpleegkollege aangaande die ondersteuningsgroep en hul aktiwiteite. Sodoende, gee die studie ’n aanvanklike insig in die huidige negatiewe persepsies van studente oor die ondersteuningsgroep en bied ook ’n grondslag vir verdere ondersoeke. Ten slotte, ervaringe en persepsies van die ondersteuningsgroep is ondersoek en daarop uitgebrei. Tans bied die ondersteuningsgroep nie die ondersteuning wat die studente benodig nie, vanweë die fundamentele funksionering van die groep se gebrek aan vertroue deur studente in die komitee-lede.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96089
This item appears in the following collections: