A group work programme to support and empower non-professional caregivers of people living with AIDS

  • C Strydom
  • C C Wessels
Keywords: people living with AIDS, empower, group work, non-professional caregivers, support


According to a literature study and a research survey conducted in 2004, caregivers are increasingly forced to deal with people living with AIDS as health services are unable to cope with the fast-growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. Caring for an individual with AIDS-related disease is usually time-consuming, burdensome and stressful. There is also evidence of increased susceptibility to physical health problems, emotional distress and psychiatric disturbances amongst caregivers. There are a number of strategies that should be employed to ensure that caregivers are encouraged to do their work to the best of their ability, without them having to sacrifice their health, family life and own needs. One of the strategies that could help in this regard is the presentation of a group work programme. A programme was presented to 14 female caregivers from a church in a disadvantaged community. The group met for eight consecutive weeks. During the two-hour sessions various topics, including self-knowledge, self-esteem, communication, conflict handling, roles of caregivers, and relationships with the person living with AIDS, were discussed. The group members were subjected to measurement by means of the single system. According to this measurement and an evaluation questionnaire, the programme did succeed in supporting and empowering them as caregivers.

Keywords: people living with AIDS; empower; group work; non-professional caregivers; support

Health SA Gesondheid Vol. 11 (4) 2006: pp. 3-21

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848