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Knowledge Levels of Caregivers on Home Care of Children with Leukemia Treated at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Zimbabwe

Eunicah Mushure, Gladys Mugadza

Abstract


Leukemia is a group of cancers that usually initiate in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells. These blood cells are not fully developed and are called blasts or leukemia cells. Any of the blood-forming cells from the bone marrow can turn into a leukemia cell. The purpose of the study was to determine knowledge levels of cares on home care of children with Leukemia treated at Parirenyatwa group of hospitals, Zimbabwe. Materials and Methods: A descriptive study was carried out at Parirenyatwa group of hospitals in ward A4 in Zimbabwe after obtaining ethical permission from the hospital Chief executive officer as well as from University of Zimbabwe College of health sciences ethical review committee. Convenience sampling was employed to select 30 willing caregivers of children (0−14yrs) treated at Parirenyatwa ward A4 special. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire. Data Analysis: Data analysis was conducted using statistical package of social sciences to reduce, organize and to give meaning to data. Descriptive statistics were used in analysing data and it yielded frequencies, percentages and averages. Results: Minimum participant age was 23 with a maximum of 40 years. All participants were female with 66.7% being married, 16.7% divorced, 13.3% widowed and 3.3% being single. Ten percent of the participants knew all leukemia complications, (10%) mentioned malnutrition only, 20% mentioned diarrhoea, (50%) mentioned skin infections only and 10% mentioned respiratory infections. Regarding adherence rate of their children to treatment; (20%) had adherence rate above 95% (30%) between 50% and 95% while (50%) had adherence rate below (50%). Concerning caregivers’ social support system, (40%) had spouse support, (10%) had support from their children, (10%) support from friends, (33 %) had support from cancer associations whilst (7 %) had no support in place. Discussion: Caregivers portrayed knowledge gap regarding dietary specificity regarding leukemia and some parents did not have strategies in place to ensure adherence to treatment of their children. Conclusion: The results showed that caregivers of children with leukemia treated at Parirenyatwa group of hospitals have moderate knowledge levels regarding homecare of children with leukemia.

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