Perceptions about family-centred care among adult patients with chronic diseases at a general out-patient clinic in Nigeria

Yakubu, Kenneth (2017-12)

Thesis (MFamMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

The published article for this Master’s is available at


ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: Few studies in Africa have described patients’ preferences for family involvement in their care. Such perceptions when elicited, can provide the patient-oriented evidence needed for implementation of family-centred care (FCC) in an African context. The aim of this study was to explore perceptions of FCC among patients with chronic diseases. Specific objectives where therefore to elicit (1) patients’ perceptions of the meaning of FCC, explore (2) current involvement of family members in patient care (3), value of FCC from the patient’s perspective and (4) patients’ preferences in the delivery of FCC. Methods: A mixed-methods phenomological study design incorporating structured and semi-structured, individual in-depth interviews for 21 adult patients with chronic diseases was used. It was carried out at the general out-patient clinic of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria. Results: Patients described FCC using various levels of family engagement with their care including, the doctor inquiring about history of similar disease in the family, information sharing with family members and fostering of family ties/relationships. These levels were also seen in the description of current family involvement in their care, including inquiring about their health, going with them to the clinic, offering material/social support and health advice. Similarly, patients considered the value of FCC based on how it meets information needs of the family, influences individual health behaviour and addresses family dynamics. The patients showed a broad range of preferences from minimal to maximum engagement of family in their care. This preference was influenced by the need for confidentiality, perception of the illness experience and whose opinion they valued most. Conclusion: Not all patients showed a preference for maximum family engagement in their care. Hence, there exists a need to be sensitive to the patient’s preferences during consultations. However, depending on perceived benefit, the family doctor may need to educate and negotiate with the patient, the extent to which family members can be involved in their care.

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