Analysis of Support for Family Caregivers of Patients with Spinal Cord Injury in a Resource-Limited Setting in Ghana

Sarah Asamoah *

Directorate of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.

Rasheed Ofosu-Poku

Directorate of Family Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.

Frederick Anafi

Korle-Bu Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Accra, Ghana.

Abraham Dapilah

Directorate of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.

Enock Sarfo

Directorate of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.

Prince Appiah Yeboah

Faculty of Palliative Care, Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, Ghana.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Introduction: The global incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI) is on the rise. Family caregivers of patients with SCI play a significant role assisting with care at home, to help them integrate into the community. The caregiving role requires support to cope with the physical, psychosocial and financial challenges experienced.

Aim: This study explores the support system of family caregivers of patients with SCI in Ghana.

Materials and Methods: A qualitative exploratory design was used and ten family caregivers of patients with SCI were sampled purposively. Data was collected through individual face-to-face interviews using a semi structured interview guide. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded to identify themes and subthemes, and content analysis done.

Findings: Two main themes and six subthemes emerged. Family caregivers received physical, financial and emotional support from significant others, though many continued to have unaddressed financial and physical support needs. There were significant gaps in healthcare system support as most family caregivers had little knowledge and skills about SCI and its management, and outpatient clinic timing was not favourable.

Conclusion: Family caregivers should be involved actively in management of patients with SCI, and assisted to explore and utilize few support resources available.

Keywords: Spinal cord injury, social support, family caregivers, healthcare system, palliative care, low and middle-income countries


How to Cite

Asamoah , S., Ofosu-Poku, R., Anafi , F., Dapilah , A., Sarfo , E., & Yeboah , P. A. (2024). Analysis of Support for Family Caregivers of Patients with Spinal Cord Injury in a Resource-Limited Setting in Ghana . Asian Journal of Research and Reports in Neurology, 7(1), 8–19. Retrieved from https://journalajorrin.com/index.php/AJORRIN/article/view/98

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