Bridging gaps: a qualitative inquiry on improving paediatric rheumatology care among healthcare workers in Kenya

Angela Migowa, Sasha Bernatsky, Anthony K. Ngugi, Helen E. Foster, Peterrock Muriuki, Roselyter M. Riang’a, Stanley Luchters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Due to the paucity of paediatric rheumatologists in Kenya, it is paramount that we explore strategies to bridge clinical care gaps for paediatric rheumatology patients in order to promote early diagnosis, prompt referral, and optimal management. Purpose: To identify proposed interventions which can improve the ability of non-specialist healthcare workers to care for paediatric rheumatology patients across Kenya. Methods: We conducted 12 focus group discussions with clinical officers (community physician assistants), nurses, general practitioners and paediatricians across six regions in Kenya. Interviews were conducted, audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using MAXQDA 2022.2 software. Results: A total of 68 individuals participated in the study; 11 clinical officers, 12 nurses, 10 general practitioners, 27 paediatricians and eight other healthcare workers. Proposed patient interventions included patient education and psychosocial support. Community interventions were outreach awareness campaigns, mobilising financial support for patients’ care, mobilising patients to access diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Healthcare worker interventions include diagnostic, management, and referral guidelines, as well as research and educational interventions related to symptom identification, therapeutic strategies, and effective patient communication skills. In addition, it was highlighted that healthcare systems should be bolstered to improve insurance coverage and access to integrated multi-disciplinary clinical care. Conclusions: Study participants were able to identify potential initiatives to improve paediatric rheumatology care in Kenya.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144
JournalPediatric Rheumatology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Global Health
  • Health Systems
  • Health care workers
  • Interventions
  • Kenya
  • Paediatric Rheumatology
  • Rheumatology Work Force
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

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