Relationship between Counseling Intervention and Psychological Well-Being among Family Care Givers of Cancer Patients in Kiambu County
Muita, Stephen Kiragu
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Palliative care is an approach that is supposed to improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients and their families. However, much attention is paid to the patient than the family members who also suffer financial, emotional, social and spiritual effects due to illness. Family members not only experience psychological anguish and guilty due to effects of illness on their loved ones, but also affected by the demands of care giving. Whereas this is the case, few studies have focused on counseling interventions that can help the family care givers. The purpose of the study was to find out the relationship between counseling intervention and psychological well-being among family care givers of cancer patients in Kiambu County. In order to achieve this purpose, family system theory guided the study. The study adopted a correlation research design. The target population was 600 family care givers who cared for terminally ill in palliative care unit. Purposive and systematic random sampling was used to select 96 family care givers identified by the cancer patient from Thika level 5 hospital, Kiambu level 5 hospital and Gatundu level 4 hospital. Three health care givers from each hospital participated in the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data. The study registered a response rate of 94% and an alpha test-retest reliability coefficient of 0.82 was obtained. The data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, namely Pearson Moment Correlation Coefficient(r), with the aid of SPSS version 22.0. The data was presented using graphs and tables. The study found that provision of counseling and any social support was essential in enhancing psychological well- being of family care givers of cancer patients. A weak positive correlation was found between psychological well-being and counseling intervention, but the correlation was not statistically significant (rs (90) = 0.135, p> 0.05). Care giving role among the family caregivers was found to affect the psychological well-being of family caregivers. The study also found that the health care givers did not have any professional training in the provision of counseling services that were essential in the provision of quality care in palliative care context. The researcher recommends that the primary care givers should be provided with professional counseling, basic care giving, training and social support. The findings of this study may be helpful in formulating appropriate counseling interventions by Policy Makers, Ministry of Health, Counselors, Hospices and stakeholders who work with terminally ill persons. The family care givers themselves may also benefit from the data generated in this research with regards to self-care.