A Phenomenological Study of African American Women Caregivers for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS

A Phenomenological Study of African American Women Caregivers for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS

Author: 
Rozlyn Anne Zuber
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
The pandemic of HIV/AIDS continues to impact communities for many decades, especially the African American. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological research was to explore the lived experiences of African American women caregivers of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The problem addressed in this qualitative phenomenological study was the unique challenges African American women caregivers of PLWHA experience. This qualitative phenomenological research examined lived experiences of 17 African American women caregivers of PLWHA 18 years of age and older, living in south central Mississippi. The participants in the study were recruited using snowball sampling. The modified van Kaam method was employed for the research analysis. Keywords and themes were identified using NVivo 9 software. The responses to open-ended questions and insights yield the day-to-day lived stressors experienced by African American women caregivers for PLWHA. From this qualitative study, five themes emerged: (a) African American women caregivers discussed how care can improve their patients overall quality of life; (b) African American women caregivers are knowledge about ASOs: (c) African American women caregivers maintain a high level of knowledge and positive attitudes about available HIV/AIDS resources; (d) African American women caregivers are knowledgeable about medication-related resources; and (e) African American women caregivers need culturally and linguistically appropriate services to care for patients. Based on the findings, it is imperative that healthcare providers are aware of women caregivers’ experiences of PLWHA. The findings offer information to leaders and policymakers to assist with decision-making for resource allocations and health care administrators to reduce caregiver burdens.
Dedication: 
This study is dedicated to the countless African American women caregivers who have sacrificed their lives to provide care for themselves and those impacted by HIV/AIDS. I am also indebted to Craig Thompson, former Director of STD/HIV Office with the MS State Department of Health and the late Dr. Mark Colomb, founder of My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. for their relentless work in addressing health disparities for those impacted by HIV/AIDS throughout Mississippi.
Acknowledgements: 
Many heartfelt thanks to my family and friends, especially my mother, Gussie B. Zuber, for the unconditional love and support throughout this challenging journey. To my father, Walter E. Zuber, Sr., and my siblings present on earth, Cicely, Ryan, Brandi, and Juliette Zuber and my special angel in heaven, Walter E. Zuber, Jr. words cannot express the deepest sincerity and love in my heart for each of you. I would like to especially thank my committee mentor, Dr. John Johnson for the encouragement and support. My committee members, Dr. B. Ivan Strom and Dr. Katherine Downey, your guidance and commitment throughout this process were tremendously beneficial. Dr. Jean Dabit, I am so thankful for all your words of encouragement and support. Dr. Bryman E. Williams, a great colleague and motivator, I could not have completed this process without you.