Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

"I washed and fed my mother before going to school": understanding the psychosocial well-being of children providing chronic care for adults affected by HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya

Skovdal, Morten and Ogutu, Vincent (2009) "I washed and fed my mother before going to school": understanding the psychosocial well-being of children providing chronic care for adults affected by HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya. Globalization and Health, 5 (8). ISSN 1744-8603

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (738Kb) | Preview

Abstract

With improved accessibility to life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy, the treatment and care requirements of people living with HIV and AIDS resembles that of more established chronic diseases. As an increasing number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya have access to ART, the primary caregivers of poor resource settings, often children, face the challenge of meeting the requirements of rigid ART adherence schedules and frequent relapses. This, and the long-term duty of care, has an impact on the primary caregiver's experience of this highly stigmatised illness – an impact that is often described in relation to psychological deprivation. Reflecting the meanings attached to caregiving by 48 children in Western Kenya, articulated in writing, through photography and drawing, individual and group interviews, this paper presents three case studies of young caregiving. Although all the children involved in the study coped with their circumstances, some better than others, we found that the meanings they attach to their circumstances impact on how well they cope. Our findings suggest that only a minority of young caregivers attach either positive or negative meanings to their circumstances, whilst the majority attaches a mix of positive and negative meanings depending on the context they are referring to. Through a continuum of psychosocial coping, we conclude that to provide appropriate care for young carers, health professionals must align their understanding and responses to the psychosocial cost of chronic care, to a more nuanced and contextual understanding of children's social agency and the social and symbolic resources evident in many African communities.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.globalizationandhealth.com/
Additional Information: © 2009 The Authors; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2011 13:17
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36761/

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics