Caregivers in South Africa

Caregiversin South Africa

TheSub-Saharan Africa countries are the most affected regions by the HIVand AIDS endemic. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa isdeemed a prominent health concern for the country. The nation istopping up the list of HIV/AIDS prevalence compared to any othercountry in the world, with an estimate of over 7 million living withthe disease, and at least 200,000 HIV/AIDS-related deaths recorded in2015 (Avert,2016). As such, caregivers who are mostly close relativesand siblings, come in to offer emotional support to the orphanedchildren. Children have lost their parents to HIV/AIDs. In the end,these kids are subjected to additional mental and health burdens(Miller, 2010). Many of these kids become affected at such an earlyage when the parental and communal guidance, as well as qualitysocialization, are most wanted. The caregivers play a crucial role intaking care of millions of orphaned children (Boon et al., 2009).Caregivers chip in to offer physical, social, mental and emotionalsupport to families and children stricken by HIV/AIDs.

Quitea good number of the caregivers are related to these families, sowhen the family loses one of its members, they also grapple with thetraumatic experience of their family member death. For this reason,there is a greater chance that the caregivers are at increased riskfor developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because theyhave to take care of the orphaned children and watch them die (Kuo etal., 2013). The caregivers with PTSD in the South African communityis on the rise mainly due to unexpected deaths of the orphans and theincreased rates of HIV/AIDS orphans in the region. The HIV/AIDSendemic poses an enormous burden for the adults who take care of thechildren and the orphaned ones (Kuo &amp Operario, 2011). For theSouth Africa community, there is a need for a health qualityassessment that is aimed at educating the people to help them improveskills and knowledge on the matters relating to HIV/AIDs (Hong etal., 2014). The primary purpose of this research is to examine thedifferent levels of PTSD within the caregivers and to determine howHIV/AIDS has impacted the caregivers and how the how the HIV/AIDSendemic is destroying the South Africa community.


Inthis study, two hypothesis i.e. the null and the alternativehypotheses will be developed. The null hypothesis will always relateto the subject being tried while the alternative hypothesis relatesto the subject that is to be acknowledged if the null hypothesis isexcluded(Johnson, 2013).In the clinical trial, the null hypothesis will follow that H0= Caregivers will not experience a high level of PTSD while caringfor HIV/AIDS orphans. On the other hand, the alternative hypothesiswill denote H1= Caregivers will experience a high degree of PTSD while caring forHIV/AIDS orphans.


Thisresearch used mixed research approach as a method of collecting andanalyzing data. The research students from the US will travel toSouth Africa. While in South Africa, they will be form two groups.One group will be tasked to monitor the orphaned children sufferingfrom the HIV/AIDs and the resulting deaths from related issues withHIV. The other group will be involved in monitoring the caregivers`population suffering from the PTSD. This method of research willinclude identifying and analyzing existing data to contribute to animmense collection of knowledge. The two groups will be monitored forat least six months upon which the researchers will be able todetermine how the caregivers cope with the orphans` death resultingfrom the HIV/AIDS-related complications.

Theywill also be able to identify how the caregivers developed the PTSDwhile evaluating whether it was from watching the orphaned childrensuffering from the disease or if it was watching them die. A mixedapproach was used for this study because it allows for greateremphasis on a particular question and the general community whilegiving the opportunity to explore superior sets of existing data(Creswell, 2013).The model seeks to test explicit hypothesis and to answer a question,rather than creating a summary about all there is to know about aparticular subject. Thus, the study sample will come from completedresearch that has focused on the caregivers of loved ones living withHIV/AIDS in South Africa. The study will attempt to identify thefinest social work services and the affordable and efficientinterventions that were reported as effective among the caregivingpopulations.


Thecaregiver in this research refers to an adult who provides primarychild care at home. The primary caregiver must provide constantsupport such as regular visitations and attention, economic, andemotional support to the children (Coughlin, 2011). The orphanedchild refers to the child with no parents living with the HIV/AIDS.The critical inclusion measures in this research were that thecaregivers were of the maturity age i.e. 18 years and above, theyprovided prime care and support either one or more orphans at thesame time. Another inclusion measure is that the children and thecaregiver stayed in that particular household for four nights withina period of four weeks consecutively. In such cases where multiplecaregivers were present within a single home, one caregiver waschosen to take part in the research.

Theparticipants, forming a sample size of 100 were mainly from the blackAfrican race with a population of 95%, 90% were Zulu speakers, and80% were females with an average age of about 37 years. Thecaregivers were supporting 4,050 children translating to at least2.53 orphans under an adult care, with an approximation of about aquarter taking care of HIV/AIDS orphans. Among those caregivers thatwere responsible for the orphaned children, 20% had oneHIV/AIDS-orphaned child. The caregivers responsible for non-orphaned,HIV/AIDS orphaned, and other orphaned child exhibited demographic, aswell as socio-economic differences regarding age, education, incomes,social welfare grants, etc., but showed no differences concerning theethnic background, gender, food security, etc.


Theparticipants reported on the orphaned children who have HIV/AIDs andresultant deaths and the PTSD symptoms while using a two-partassessment model. In this study, we will measure the variables of thetwo groups. One is the experimental group which consists of orphanswho are suffering from the HIV/AIDS and the deaths resulting fromliving with AIDS. The second group is the control group which will becomposed of caregivers showing high levels of PTSD. The findings willhelp us compare the two groups to determine whether the orphanedchildren dying from the HIV/AIDS is the cause of the high levels ofPTSD among the caregivers, or maybe the caregivers had PTSD from apast event (Kuo &amp Operario, 2011).


Theparticipants were selected using a representative community sampling.The research components were grouped into two whereby, one group thatis, the experimental group will monitor adult caregivers taking careof the HIV/AIDS orphans whereas the second group i.e. the controlgroup will monitor adult caregivers taking care of non-HIV/AIDSorphans. The whole process will take a duration of six months. Everysingle household was visited by a group of the research team andinspected for suitability and aptness as the family membersidentified their primary caregiver. The research purpose and theprocedures were clearly explained to the participants. A copy ofconsent form was given to any caregiver who demonstrated somewillingness and interest in taking part in the study. To ensure thatall the respondents got the information, a member of tby ahe researchteam read out the consent form loudly. An approximate of 1000households were inspected for suitability. The response rate was 95%,bringing about the final sample size of 100 caregivers. During thestudy, no enticements were offered to the participants. The responserate was remarkable, which was mainly attributed to the high level ofunemployment in the region implying that many of the caregivers wereavailable to play a part in the study. At the end of the six months,both groups will be retested to determine whether the caregiverslevel of PTSD shoot up or went down or remained at the same state(Kuo et al., 2013). The assessments were overseen by the native Zuluspeakers who are adequately skilled in conducting ethical andresearch practices and procedures.

Analysisof Approach

Theresearch team that will fly over to South Africa will be separatedinto two clusters upon which one group will monitor the orphanssuffering from HIV/AIDS and the resultant deaths, and the other groupwill monitor the population with PTSD. The target population will bemonitored for six months to determine how the caregivers took care ofthe orphans living with AIDS. The other groups will look at how thecaregivers developed PTSD by evaluating whether it was throughwatching the orphans suffer from the illness, or by watching thechildren die. The study will use quasi-experimental design, as wellas the pre-test and the post-test to help in eliminating any threatsto the internal validity(Gravetter &amp Forzano, 2016).The pre-test and the post-test examination will involve observationsbefore and after the research process(Gravetter &amp Forzano, 2016).


Avert.(2016). HIV and AIDS in South Africa.

Boon,H., Ruiter, A. C. R., James,S., Borne, D. V. B., Williams, E., &ampReddy, P. (2009). The Impact of a Community based Pilot HealthEducation Intervention for Older People as Caregivers of Orphaned andSick Children as a Result of HIV and AIDS in South Africa. 24:373-389. DOI 10.1007/s10823-009-9101-2

Coughlin,S. (2011). Retrieved from: The Open Health Services and PolicyJournal. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and the Care of Person Livingwith HIV/AIDS. 4, 39-41

Creswell,J. W. (2013). Researchdesign: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach.Sage publications.

Gravetter,F.J. &amp Forzano, L.B. (2016). Research Methods for the BehavioralSciences Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 978-1-3054-4654-0

Hong,Y., Chi, P., Li, X., Zhao, G., Zhao, J., Stanton, B., &amp Li, L.(2014). Retrieved from: Health Policy and Planning Advance Access.Community Based Family Style group Homes for Children Orphaned byAIDS in Rural China: an Ethnographic Investigation.

Johnson,V. E. (2013). Revised standards for statistical evidence. Proceedingsof the National Academy of Sciences,110(48),19313-19317.

Kuo,C., &amp Operario, D., (2011). Health of Adults Caring for OrphanedChildren in an HIV endemic Community in South Africa. 23 (9):1128-1135. DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2011.554527

Kuo,C., Reddy, K. M., Operario, D., Cluver, L., Stein, J. D. (2013).Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Among Caring for Orphaned Children inHIV Endemic South Africa. Springer Science Business Media New York

Miller,C. ( 2010). Children Affected by AIDS: A Review of the Literature onOrphaned and Vulnerable Children.