Original Research

Healthcare professionals’ perceptions of community-based rehabilitation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Sithembiso B. Blose, Sudipa Deoraj, Sabiha Padia, Kaveshan Pillay, Kinita Reddy, Verusia Chetty
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a2461 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v13i1.2461 | © 2021 Sithembiso B. Blose, Sudipa Doeraj, Sabiha Padia, Kaveshan Pillay, Kinita Reddy, Verusia Chetty | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 April 2020 | Published: 27 January 2021

About the author(s)

Sithembiso B. Blose, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Sudipa Deoraj, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Sabiha Padia, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Kaveshan Pillay, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Kinita Reddy, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Verusia Chetty, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: People with disabilities (PWDs) continue to experience challenges with access to healthcare. Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is an approach that advocates for equal opportunities and social inclusion of PWDs to enhance their quality of daily life. Healthcare professionals are crucial in the implementation of CBR. However, little is known about the perception of healthcare professionals on this approach to rehabilitation in South Africa.

Aim: This study sought to explore perceptions of healthcare professionals on CBR in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Setting: This study was located across four public healthcare facilities spanning districts to tertiary levels care in KwaZulu-Natal, situated in rural and peri-urban areas.

Methods: An explorative qualitative approach using focus group discussions was used to collect data from healthcare professionals employed at these public hospitals in the province. Twenty-five healthcare workers participated in four focus group discussions, with four to eight participants per group. Data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The findings revealed four dominant themes, namely, the CBR conundrum, CBR enablers, perceived impediments to CBR implementation and a proposal for the implementation of CBR.

Conclusion: Continual promotion of, as well as education and training on, CBR for healthcare professionals, was understood as an imperative for the development and roll-out of CBR programmes in South African communities. Excellent communication about CBR programmes was described as key to ensuring social inclusion, quality of life and access to services for PWDs.


Keywords

Community-based rehabilitation; healthcare professionals; people with disabilities; KwaZulu-Natal; CBR Worker

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