Original Research

Provision of HIV services to psychiatric inpatients in Botswana: Challenges and recommendations

Maria A. Qambayot, Sarita Naidoo
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 29 | a1990 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v29i0.1990 | © 2023 Maria A. Qambayot, Sarita Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 September 2022 | Published: 28 February 2023

About the author(s)

Maria A. Qambayot, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Sarita Naidoo, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The high prevalence of HIV among psychiatric inpatients is well-documented, yet little is known about the provision of HIV services for these patients.

Aim: This qualitative study aimed to explore and understand healthcare providers’ challenges with providing HIV services to psychiatric inpatients.

Setting: This study was conducted at the national psychiatric referral hospital in Botswana.

Methods: The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 25 healthcare providers serving HIV-positive psychiatric inpatients. Data analysis was performed using a thematic analysis approach.

Results: Healthcare providers reported challenges with transporting patients to access off-site HIV services, longer waiting periods for antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, patient confidentiality, fragmented services for treatment of comorbidities, and a lack of patient data integration between the national psychiatric referral hospital and other facilities such as the Infectious Diseases Care Clinic (IDCC) at the nearby district hospital. Providers’ recommendations for addressing these challenges included the establishment of an IDCC at the national psychiatric referral hospital, connecting the psychiatric facility to the patient data management system to ensure integration of patient data, and provision of HIV-related in-service training to nurses.

Conclusion: Psychiatric healthcare providers advocated for on-site integration of care for psychiatric illness and HIV among inpatients to address the challenges of ART provision.

Contribution: The findings suggest the need to improve the provision of HIV services in the psychiatric hospitals in order to ensure better outcomes for this often-overlooked population. These findings are useful in improving clinical practice for HIV in psychiatric settings.


Keywords

HIV services; treatment; psychiatric inpatients; healthcare providers; recommendations; challenges.

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