Anne Merriman

Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (2)5.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Volunteers in palliative care play a key role, particularly in the hospice setting. The expansion of palliative care into developing countries has been accompanied by the emergence of volunteer workers, who are providing a main source of support and care for patients, many of whom never see a health professional. The aim of this study was to evaluate the motivation for becoming a volunteer and the personal impact of being a palliative care Community Volunteer Worker in Uganda. A qualitative methodology using semi-structured individual and group digitally recorded interviews was adopted for the study. Data were analysed for emerging themes using thematic analysis. Forty-three interviews were undertaken, 32 with Community Volunteer Workers and 11 with the Hospice clinical teams, using semi-structured digitally recorded individual, group and focus group interviews at the Hospice Africa sites in Uganda. The results identified the cultural wish to help people as a key motivator in becoming a volunteer. Additionally, the volunteers reported having a sense of pride in their volunteering role, and this role had a positive impact on their perceived status in their local community. This model of volunteering is clearly having an impact on the volunteers, both personally and also in terms of how they are treated in their communities. Further research to explore the long-term personal benefits of being a palliative care volunteer is recommended.
    Palliative Medicine 09/2011; 26(5):753-9. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Africa, the need for palliative care provision is escalating with an increasing number of people living with HIV/AIDS, coupled with rising cancer and AIDS-related cancer diagnoses. In Uganda there is a shortage of doctors, particularly in rural areas. To address this Hospice Africa Uganda developed a Community Volunteer Programme to train volunteers to help by providing support to patients in their own homes. The aim of this qualitative study was to evaluate the impact of the Community Volunteer Programme. Sixty-four interviews, with patients (21), community volunteer workers (CVWs) (32), and the hospice clinical teams (11) were conducted, using semi-structured digitally recorded individual, group and focus group interviews, at the Hospice Africa Uganda sites. The results reported the value of the Community Volunteer Programme, including the impact on patients and families, and how the CVWs acted as a 'bridge to the hospice' in identifying patients. Developing financial challenges that are emerging which could potentially impact on the programme were reported. The Community Volunteer Programme appears to be having a positive impact on patients, families and the hospice team, and is a model worthy of consideration by other developing countries to allow the expansion of palliative care.
    Palliative Medicine 03/2011; 25(7):706-15. · 2.61 Impact Factor