Volume 1 Number 2

This 3rd edition which has 8 articles on topics such as; Continuing Formal Education, Stress and Coping Strategies; and The Effects of Stigma on Mental Health Nurses, just to mention a few, promises to be educative.

Volume 1 Number 2

These articles highlights various health issues of concern about the education, training and practice of nursing and midwifery in Ghana

Socio-cultural factors affecting parent-adolescent communication on sexuality in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana


Parents have the responsibility to teach their adolescent children how to deal with sexual problems confronting them by educating them on what they need to do to avoid risky sexual behaviours. This study explored the socio-cultural factors affecting parents’ role in educating their young children on sex and sexuality. The study used an exploratory descriptive qualitative design and employed focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews to explore the socio-cultural factors that affect parents’ presentation on sexuality to adolescents. Thirty-four parents made up of two mothers’ groups, one fathers’ group and a mixed group (mothers and fathers) took part in the FGDs. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten parents who were not part of the FGDs. The data was transcribed and analysed manually. The findings of this study indicated that parents blamed cultural taboos for preventing them from discussing sexuality with adolescents.  Parents however supported school sex education for their children and indicated that it would benefit adolescents whose parents could not discuss sexual issues with them.  Parents proposed that the school should involve them in school sexual education for them to be acquainted with what the children are taught in school in order to complement it at home. All the parents were worried about the negative influence that the media have on adolescents. In spite of obvious impediments to discussions on sexuality with adolescents, parents saw the need to discuss sexuality with adolescents because of the benefits of such education. 

KEYWORDS: Taboos; Sexuality; Adolescents; Communication

Elizabeth Aku Baku (PhD, MPhil, BA, RPHN, RN, FAWCN, GCNM)
Richard M.K. Adanu (PhD, BMed, BSur, FWACS)
Peter Adatara (PhD candidate, MPhil, BA, RN)

Tuberculosis treatment adherence in Ghana: Patients’ perspectives of barriers and enablers to treatment


Tuberculosis (TB) treatment continues to be a daunting task in most low and middle-income countries due to cultural beliefs held by people and inadequate information about the importance of treatment adherence in the community. This study explored the patient-related factors influencing tuberculosis treatment adherence, with a focus on patient-related factors affecting such treatment adherence. Using a semi-structured interview guide, 10 participants  (Five males, five females) were engaged in in-depth individual interviews. Miles and Huberman’s (1994) content analysis approach was used to analyse data. Three main themes emerged from the synthesised data: Knowledge on TB and its treatment, challenges associated with TB treatment and motivating factors to adherence. Patients’ belief about the cause of TB such as spiritual forces, poor knowledge about treatment duration and consequences of defaulting, and the side effect of drugs especially when taken with little or no food were found to be critical factors that  negatively impacted treatment adherence. The desire to attain one’s ‘normal self’, making up mind to complete treatment and recognition of symptom improvement following the commencement of treatment supported adherence to TB treatment. Continuous education on TB and counselling during treatment are vital interventions that need sustained integration in TB prevention and adherence programmes. Maintaining continuous multi-level support for clients living with TB is critical for TB prevention and control, and adherence to full treatment course.  

KEYWORDS: Barriers to treatment; enabling factors; TB treatment adherence; patients’ perspectives

Yakubu Salifu (PhD Student, MPhil N, BSc N, Dip N, Dip Edu, RGN, QR, FGCNM)
Cecilia Eliason (PhD Candidate, MPhil N, BSc N, RGN, FWACN, FGCNM)
George Mensah (MPH, MD, Public Health Specialist (TB Expert))

Family belief systems and practices that influence exclusive breastfeeding in Sagu, Ghana.


Breast milk provides additional protection to children less than five years against infections. In the last few decades, exclusive breastfeeding has received a growing interest as the appropriate feeding method for infants all over the world. The aim of the study was to identify family belief systems and practices that influenced infant feeding during the first six months of life among rural women in Sagu, in the Upper West Region of Ghana. An exploratory, qualitative research design was employed to obtain in-depth information required to understand and interpret family belief systems and practices that influence exclusive breastfeeding among 27 participants. Data were collected between August and September, 2016. The study found family belief systems and practices such as gender, social role, culture and religious beliefs as factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding among women. Family heads were key in decision-making regarding infant feeding. The findings showed that mothers faced multifaceted cultural and religious beliefs, gender relations and sociostructural factors that influenced their decision making regarding breastfeeding. Grandfathers, grandmothers and fathers have an important role in infant feeding decisions in rural communities; however, they required prior knowledge to provide optimum support to breastfeeding mothers. Public health education on exclusive breastfeeding is required among significant others in the family. Further research is required to explore cultural beliefs and practices influencing exclusive breastfeeding and how they can be modified to promote public interventions particularly in matters relating to exclusive breastfeeding. 

KEYWORDS: Cultural beliefs; exclusive breastfeeding; infants

Agani Afaya (MSc, BSc, Dip, RN)
Karim Jabuni Fuseini (BSc, Dip, RN)
Judith A. Anaman-Torgbor (PhD, M.Phil. RN,)
Solomon Mohammed Salia (MSc, BSc, Dip, RN)
Peter Adatara (PhD Candidate, MPhil, BSc, RN)
Richard Adongo Afaya (BSc, Dip, RN)

Awareness and knowledge of gestational diabetes mellitus among pregnant women at the Tema General Hospital, Ghana.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a medical condition that occurs during pregnancy. This study sought specifically to determine the awareness of pregnant women on GDM. It also assessed the knowledge level of pregnant women on GDM and determined whether there was a correlation between educational level and knowledge of GDM. The study utilised the quantitative method. A cross-sectional design was used to investigate the awareness and knowledge of pregnant women on GDM. The research setting for the study was at the Tema General Hospital. The study population included all pregnant women who attended antenatal clinic at the hospital for routine maternal health services in February 2015. The average monthly antenatal attendance was 500 pregnant women and 250 respondents were chosen through simple random sampling. 

Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 was used to analyse the data. The study revealed that majority of respondents was aware of GDM. The sources of awareness included television, radio, newspapers, friends and health personnel. The respondents had knowledge of the causes and risk factors that led to GDM. 

Recommendations included the use of mass media as a tool to intensify and disseminate information about GDM and re-emphasis of causes and risk factors associated with GDM during health talks for early detection and early reporting for management.

KEYWORDS: Awareness; Diabetes mellitus; Gestational; Hyperglycemia; knowledge Introduction

Azu, Theodora Dedo (B.Sc. Nursing, FFGCNM, FWACN, RM, RGN, MN)
Essel Judith (B.Sc Nursing, RGN)

Socio-economic impact of indwelling urethral Catheter: The experiences of patients discharged from the Volta Regional Hospital of Ghana.


Although catheter-associated urinary tract infection is well researched, little is known about the socio-economic impact of the use of indwelling urethral catheters, including those in Ghana. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore socio-economic experiences by men with indwelling urethral catheters in the Volta region of Ghana. The study utilized qualitative explorative descriptive design. Data was collected from 19 participants using a semi-structured interview guide. Purposive sampling was used in recruiting participants. Content analysis was carried out. Four thematic categories were identified: interruption in activity levels, financial dependence on family, sexual restriction, and social isolation. The findings indicated that the use of indwelling urethral catheters resulted in several socio-economic consequences for clients. The authors suggested that, in order to improve the quality of life of men with indwelling urethral catheters, the same level of attention paid to catheter-associated urinary tract infections must be extended to assessing the social impact of indwelling urethral catheter usage.

KEYWORDS: indwelling catheter; patients; social impact; urethral catheterisation; urinary tract.

Confidence Alorse Atakro (RGN, MN, BSc,)
George Sedinam Boni (BSc, RGN)
Janet Gross (DNS, BSc, RGN)

Depression and religious coping mechanisms among cancer patients in Ghana.


Cancer is identified to be one of the leading causes of mortalities in most countries. However, some positive coping mechanisms have been discovered to help cancer patients cope with some psychological distress that accompany illness. The present study sought to examine the association between religious coping mechanisms and depression among cancer patients in Tema General Hospital. It was hypothesized that religious coping would relate negatively with depression and patients with self-directing coping strategy would be more depressed than patients with benevolent coping strategy. Data were collected from a purposively sampled 50 cancer patients at the Tema General Hospital. The findings of the study using Pearson r supported the hypotheses that the belief in religion is statistically and significantly associated with less depression among cancer Patients. It is therefore recommended that physicians, clinicians and

psychologists/counsellors adopt religious coping strategies with their patients in order to help manage and cope with their conditions.

KEYWORDS: Cancer; Depression; Ghana; Coping mechanism; Religion

Millicent Larbi (BA)
Joshua King Safo Lartey (BA)
Joseph Osafo (PhD)

Why are they staying? A phenomenological study on midwives working in Ghana


Low and middle-income countries face challenges with retention of healthcare personnel including midwives, primarily because of migration to other countries. Repercussions from the loss of healthcare workers have been grave and the impact on healthcare services for the inhabitants is consequently compromised. Since many such countries subsidize the education of healthcare workers, the monies spent do not provide the expected return on investment.  While some studies review the cause of such migrations, limited research explore the views of healthcare workers who choose to stay and work in the countries that educated them and no such studies have explored the views of midwives in particular. 

The aim of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore the views and motivations of Ghanaian-educated midwives who have chosen to remain and practice in Ghana.  The study was conducted in 2015 among twelve purposively sampled Ghanaian educated midwives from a hospital in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, to explore their views about staying to work in the country, in view of what may have inspired their counterparts to leave. Data was analyzed using NVivo 10® (QSR, 2014).            

The findings identified one key theme around their reasons for remaining in Ghana. Five additional themes amplified and extended the reasons and all themes provided guidance for addressing retention issues in Ghana. Context-specific recommendations were made with a focus on midwifery leadership, policy makers, stakeholders and the main professional regulatory body to address the exodus of midwives in Ghana and other LMICs.   

KEYWORDS: Low and middle-income countries; midwifery; midwives; retention; Shortages

Abigail Agartha Kyei (DHA, MPH, B.A., FGCNM, RN, RM)
Barbara Carnes (PhD, MPA, B.A.)

Midwives' emotional distress over maternal death; the case of Ashanti region


Emotional distress associated with the death of human beings cannot be underestimated. Much as it affects the immediate family members, midwives who witness death of pregnant patients are not spared the emotional distress. Emotional distress affects the general health, behaviour, productivity and job satisfaction of nurses and midwives. However, there is inadequate literature on how midwives in the Ashanti Region of Ghana become emotionally distressed after they experience maternal death. This study sought to explore and describe lived experiences of midwives’ emotional distress over maternal death at work using a qualitative approach. The study consisted of 57 participants (18 supervisors and 39 ward midwives) selected using the purposive sampling technique. Data collection was done through focus group discussions using semi-structured interviews. The responses collected were managed by qualitative computer data analysis package (Atlas.ti version 7.1.7) and the Thematic Content Analysis was used for analyzing the data. Four major themes emerged from this study: feeling sad or bad, traumatised, disorganised, and death seen as unpleasant, painful and inhumane. Main recommendation embodied institution of support programmes in hospitals without them, to help workers cope with such distress, help lessen the distress that midwives go through, improve quality of services provided, as well as provide job satisfaction.

KEYWORDS: Emotional distress; midwives; maternal deaths; job satisfaction

Anita Fafa Dartey (PhD, M Nursing, BTech OHNP, RN)
Ellemes Phuma-Ngaiyaye (PhD, RN, RM)
Phetlhu, D. Rene (PhD, BA, MCur)



An International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery is an official journal of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana. The journal is aimed at providing a credible peer-reviewed medium for nurses and midwives and other health related researchers to share their research and other professional works. It is an international journal published online and in print by-annually.

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