Evaluation of a brief intervention to improve the nursing care of young children in a high HIV and AIDS setting
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Caregivers and young children (107 pairs) and 17 nurses participated in an intervention to improve the care of young children
in hospital in a high HIV and AIDS setting. The intervention addressed caregiver expectations about admission and treatment,
responsive feeding, coping with infant pain and distress, assistance with medical procedures, and preparation for discharge and
home care. Following a preparatory and piloting phase, measures of nurse burnout, caregiver physical and emotional wellbeing,
and caregiver-child interaction were made before and after intervention. No changes were found between before and
after intervention on assessments of caregiver wellbeing. However, mothers in the post intervention phase rated nurses as more
supportive; mother-child interaction during feeding was more relaxed and engaged, and babies were less socially withdrawn. While
the intervention proved useful in improving certain outcomes for children and their caregivers, it did not address challenging
hospital and ward administration or support needed by caregivers at home following discharge. To address the latter need, the
intervention has been extended into the community through home-based palliative care and support.