Healthcare providers’ perceptions of providing comprehensive care to mental health care users in a community setting
There is a high number of recurring readmissions of mental health care users (MHCUs) which has raised concern related to factors that hinder comprehensive care also related to who and what is needed to provide comprehensive mental health care. This is also a concern in the community setting of Mahikeng sub-district of the North West Province (NWP), South Africa (SA). Comprehensive care is seen as fulfilling the maximum quality of care through developing community- and home-based care that focuses on early detection, follow-up care, rehabilitation, and promoting available social support services, promotion of general health, and continuous updates on mental health. Comprehensive care can be fully reached when there is full collaboration with mental health and non-mental health practitioners. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the perceptions of healthcare providers of providing comprehensive care to MHCUs in the community setting of Mahikeng sub-district of the NWP, SA. The objectives were to explore and describe their perceptions regarding 1) factors that hinder providing comprehensive care to MHCUs in the community setting of Mahikeng sub-district of the NWP, SA, 2) healthcare providers who are needed to implement comprehensive care in the community setting of Mahikeng sub-district of the NWP, SA; and 3) what can be done to improve comprehensive care for MHCUs in the community setting of Mahikeng sub-district of the NWP, SA. An explorative, descriptive, and contextual qualitative research design was followed in order to allow healthcare providers to share their perceptions regarding factors hindering comprehensive care in the community setting of Mahikeng sub-district of the NWP, SA. Purposive sampling was used to identify participants who meet the selection criteria. The sample size was determined by data saturation, which was reached after 20 telephonic semi-structured individual interviews with healthcare providers. Telephonic semi-structured individual interviews were utilised to gather data after written approval from the Health Research Ethics Committee (HREC) of the North-West University, the North West Provincial Department of Health (DoH), and the Mahikeng sub-district manager (Primary Health Care Manager) was obtained. The sub-district manager who is the gatekeeper then, informed facility managers who acted as mediators about the research study and data collection process. The researcher was then given the authority of being in contact with mediators and obtained informed consent from the healthcare providers who were the research participants. The co-coder and the researcher analysed the data independently. The findings of this study included four (4) main themes, with sub-themes. The main themes were: theme 1: healthcare providers’ understanding of comprehensive care to MHCUs; theme 2: factors hindering comprehensive care to MHCUs; theme 3: stakeholders needed for providing comprehensive care to MHCUs; and theme 4: suggestions for improving comprehensive care to MHCUs. Conclusions were drawn, namely that improved mental health service is possible through involving/hiring more general health care and mental healthcare providers, enriching the community with knowledge, ensuring availability of treatment, more mental health training for healthcare providers, and ensuring lowered or no factors that hinder comprehensive care. Recommendations were formulated for nursing education, nursing research, and nursing practice from the findings, literature, and conclusions of the study.
- Health Sciences