Care of patients in Malawi who have HIV/AIDS and mental health problems
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Care of patients in Malawi who have HIV/AIDS and mental health problems

Genesis Chorwe-Sungani Lecturer in community and mental health nursing, University of Malawi, Blantyre
Nondumiso Shangase Lecturer in nursing, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa
Idesi Chilinda Lecturer in community and mental health, Kamuzu College of Nursing, Lilongwe, Malawi

In a country that has a shortage of specialists in the field, many general nurses do not get the support they need to care for this client group, say Genesis Chorwe-Sungani and colleagues

Aim This study investigated the support that general nurses in the Blantyre District of Malawi receive from mental health specialists when caring for people living with HIV/AIDS who also have psychological and psychiatric conditions.

Method A quantitative descriptive survey design was used. The Mental Health Problems Perception Questionnaire was issued to 109 nurses working in various hospital departments and wards. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results Most of the general nurses do not feel confident about caring for people with HIV/AIDS who have mental health problems and the nurses do not always receive the support they need.

Conclusion Closer collaboration and more networking between general nurses and those with mental health expertise are needed if the skills of general nurses are to be developed and the care given optimised.

Mental Health Practice. 17, 7, 35-39. doi: 10.7748/mhp2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 21 January 2013

Accepted: 03 September 2013