Family Caregivers’ Perceptions of Compassion among Pediatric Health Care Providers in Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya: Implications for Treatment Compliance
Wanjohi, Grace Wambui
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Compassion is viewed as a hallmark of quality of care by patients, health workers, health care administrators and policy makers. Despite this, there is a lack of understanding of what patients and their care givers perceive as compassion of health care workers. The purpose of this study was to establish family caregivers’ perceptions of compassion among paediatric health care providers (PHCPs) in Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the implications of the perceptions on compliance with treatment. The study was based on Phenomenology theory by Edmund Husserl. Phenomenology captures views of people who have lived through an experience using rich descriptions with the aim of understanding what the experience means to them. Ethical approval was sought from Kenyatta University Ethics Review Committee (KUERC) and Kenyatta National Hospital- University of Nairobi Ethics Review Committee (KNH-UoN-ERC. Authority to conduct the research was sought from the National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and KNH. Ethical standards were observed through voluntary participation and anonymity. Participants were selected through multi-stage sampling. This included purposive sampling for KNH, simple random sampling for the paediatric units and individual interviewees. Participants for focus group discussions (FGDs) and one narrative per FGD were purposively selected. A demographic questionnaire was filled by the interviewees. A pilot study was done prior to the actual study to test the study instruments and no major challenges were identified. Similar questions were used in different instruments to ensure reliability. Structural and content validity were ensured by including questions that addressed each of the objectives for the study. The demographic characteristics were summarized descriptively trough frequencies and percentages while the qualitative data was summarized and analysed thematically using predetermined themes. A total of 45 caregivers took part in the study. The findings revealed that caregivers interpret PHCP compassion as love and friendliness, timeliness in treatment, adequate consultation time and receiving adequate information concerning their children. Compassion varied among different PHCPs depending on possession of these qualities. Majority of the caregivers preferred the PHCPs who had these qualities. While compassion was relevant for compliance with treatment, other factors such as motivation to see the children get better and finances influenced the caregivers’ compliance. The study recommended formulation of policies that promote education on compassion among PHCPs especially through in-service capacity building in health institutions.