Barriers and Opportunities for Elderly Nursing Care in Uganda: A Descriptive Qualitative Study - Abstract
Background: Nurses make up the largest number of frontline health workers providing care to all populations including the elderly. The Ugandan public health care system has been documented to have a low readiness for providing elderly health care services. However, despite nurses playing a central role in Uganda’s Health care system, there is hardly any study that has assessed the barriers and opportunities for Nursing elderly care in Uganda. This paper provides an overview of the nurse’s perspectives on barriers and opportunities for elderly nursing care in Uganda. Methods: This was a descriptive qualitative study. Five Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with nursing leaders, 5Focus Group Discussions ( FGDs) with faculty at all levels of nursing training, and 5 FGDs with nurses in practice were done. Data analysis was done using the latent and manifest content approach with Open Code software 4.03. We identified common categories and incorporated them into a matrix to create themes. Results: Lack of specialized wards for the elderly in various health care settings, and training in nursing elderly health care among nurses were the key barriers to elderly nursing care in Uganda. However, the willingness and positive attitude of the Ugandan nurses to be trained, the availability of chronic illness clinics largely attended by the elderly, and the availability of nursing training institutions pose a starting point to address the barriers to elderly nursing care in Uganda. Conclusions: Elderly Nursing care in Uganda is mainly hindered by the lack of specialized wards for elderly patients and the lack of training among nurses in elderly health care. There is a need to develop an elderly nursing training curriculum for all nursing training levels in Uganda.