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Title: The information needs of informal caregivers in rural South Africa
Authors: Ashour, Amna Ali Abdulsalam 
Keywords: Caregivers;Information needs;South Africa;information sharing
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Abstract: Care provision presents physical, psychological, and social challenges to caregivers during the course of their duties. These challenges are directly linked to the availability and accessibility of information to the caregivers. Although information is easily accessible to caregivers by means of the Internet and health care professionals, caregivers often need more information during the course of their activities. In South Africa, the information needs of caregivers are largely unclear and remain unidentified in different contexts. The aim of the study was to explore the unmet information needs of caregivers in their work activities in order to identify and address the information need challenges during the course of performing their duty. The study employed one primary research question (PRQ), namely: ―What are the unmet information needs of caregivers in South Africa?‖ Four sub-research questions guided the PRQ: i) ―What are the work practices of caregivers and their related information needs in Cape Town, South Africa?‖ ii) ―What are the factors affecting unmet information needs of caregivers in Cape Town, South Africa?‖ iii) ―How are information resources made available to caregivers in Cape Town, South Africa?‖ iv) ―How do caregivers obtain/access alternative sources of information necessary for their care activities in Cape Town, South Africa?‖ In order to answer these questions, the present study was conducted at two institutions and with three private caregivers who provide comprehensive care to different types of care recipients in the City of Cape Town, South Africa. An interpretivist epistemological stance was adopted, and an inductive research approach was followed. The research strategy was a multiple-case study. Data for this study were gathered during interviews (21 in total) using semi-structured questionnaires. The data collected were transcribed, summarised, and categorised to provide a clear understanding of the data. The study produced nineteen (19) findings, from which five themes were derived. The themes are: i) Caregiver work practices; ii) Caregiver challenges; iii) Unmet information needs; iv) Caregiver information resources; and v) Information sharing. Results from the study show a major misalignment between the information required by caregivers during the course of their work activities and the care services required from them. Measures such as more comprehensive training programmes by training institutions to caregivers are recommended in order to prepare caregivers adequately for care practices.
Description: Thesis (MTech (Information Technology))--Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 2019
Appears in Collections:Information Technology - Master's Degree

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