‘Maybe I will give some help…. maybe not to help the eyes but different help’: an analysis of care and support of children with visual impairment in community settings in Malawi

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‘Maybe I will give some help…. maybe not to help the eyes but different help’ : an analysis of care and support of children with visual impairment in community settings in Malawi. / Gladstone, Melissa; McLinden, Michael; Douglas, Graeme; Jolley, E; Schmidt, E; Chimoyo, J; Magombo, H ; Lynch, Paul.

In: Child: Care, Health & Development, Vol. 43, No. 4, 07.2017, p. 608-620.

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@article{8fae65d112754fa387e916e78102761c,
title = "{\textquoteleft}Maybe I will give some help…. maybe not to help the eyes but different help{\textquoteright}: an analysis of care and support of children with visual impairment in community settings in Malawi",
abstract = "Background: Visual impairment in children is common in low and middle-income settings. Whilst visual impairment (VI) can impact on the development of children, many reach full potential with appropriate early intervention programmes. Although there is increased emphasis on early child development globally, it is not yet clear how to provide specific programmes for children with VI in low and middle-income settings. This study aims to identify facilitators and barriers to the provision of a developmental stimulation programme for children with VI in rural and urban Malawi.Methods: We undertook 6 focus groups, 10 home observations and 20 in-depth interviews with carers of children with VI under 6 years in urban and rural Southern Malawi. We utilised topic guides relating to care, play, communication and feeding. Qualitative data were subject to thematic analysis that included placing themes within Bronfenbrenner's ecological framework. We established authenticity of themes through feedback from participants.Results: We identified themes within Bronfenbrenner's framework at five levels: (1) blindness acting as a barrier to stimulation and communication, health and complex needs all affecting the individual child; (2) understanding of VI, ability to be responsive at the microsystem level of the carer; (3) support from other carers at microsystem level within a mesosystem; (4) support from other professionals (knowledge of, identification and management of children with VI, responsibilities and gender roles, environmental safety and prejudice, stigma and child protection all at the level of the exosystem.Discussion: This study has revealed the requirements needed in order to produce meaningful and appropriate programmes to support nutrition, care and early stimulation for children with VI in this and similar African settings. This includes supporting carers to understand their child's developmental needs, how to better communicate with, feed and stimulate their child; offering advice sensitive to carers' responsibilities and professional training to better support carers and challenge community stigma.",
keywords = "Africa, child disability, early child development, low and middle income, qualitative, visual impairment",
author = "Melissa Gladstone and Michael McLinden and Graeme Douglas and E Jolley and E Schmidt and J Chimoyo and H Magombo and Paul Lynch",
year = "2017",
month = jul,
doi = "10.1111/cch.12462",
language = "English",
volume = "43",
pages = "608--620",
journal = "Child: Care, Health & Development",
issn = "0305-1862",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘Maybe I will give some help…. maybe not to help the eyes but different help’

T2 - an analysis of care and support of children with visual impairment in community settings in Malawi

AU - Gladstone, Melissa

AU - McLinden, Michael

AU - Douglas, Graeme

AU - Jolley, E

AU - Schmidt, E

AU - Chimoyo, J

AU - Magombo, H

AU - Lynch, Paul

PY - 2017/7

Y1 - 2017/7

N2 - Background: Visual impairment in children is common in low and middle-income settings. Whilst visual impairment (VI) can impact on the development of children, many reach full potential with appropriate early intervention programmes. Although there is increased emphasis on early child development globally, it is not yet clear how to provide specific programmes for children with VI in low and middle-income settings. This study aims to identify facilitators and barriers to the provision of a developmental stimulation programme for children with VI in rural and urban Malawi.Methods: We undertook 6 focus groups, 10 home observations and 20 in-depth interviews with carers of children with VI under 6 years in urban and rural Southern Malawi. We utilised topic guides relating to care, play, communication and feeding. Qualitative data were subject to thematic analysis that included placing themes within Bronfenbrenner's ecological framework. We established authenticity of themes through feedback from participants.Results: We identified themes within Bronfenbrenner's framework at five levels: (1) blindness acting as a barrier to stimulation and communication, health and complex needs all affecting the individual child; (2) understanding of VI, ability to be responsive at the microsystem level of the carer; (3) support from other carers at microsystem level within a mesosystem; (4) support from other professionals (knowledge of, identification and management of children with VI, responsibilities and gender roles, environmental safety and prejudice, stigma and child protection all at the level of the exosystem.Discussion: This study has revealed the requirements needed in order to produce meaningful and appropriate programmes to support nutrition, care and early stimulation for children with VI in this and similar African settings. This includes supporting carers to understand their child's developmental needs, how to better communicate with, feed and stimulate their child; offering advice sensitive to carers' responsibilities and professional training to better support carers and challenge community stigma.

AB - Background: Visual impairment in children is common in low and middle-income settings. Whilst visual impairment (VI) can impact on the development of children, many reach full potential with appropriate early intervention programmes. Although there is increased emphasis on early child development globally, it is not yet clear how to provide specific programmes for children with VI in low and middle-income settings. This study aims to identify facilitators and barriers to the provision of a developmental stimulation programme for children with VI in rural and urban Malawi.Methods: We undertook 6 focus groups, 10 home observations and 20 in-depth interviews with carers of children with VI under 6 years in urban and rural Southern Malawi. We utilised topic guides relating to care, play, communication and feeding. Qualitative data were subject to thematic analysis that included placing themes within Bronfenbrenner's ecological framework. We established authenticity of themes through feedback from participants.Results: We identified themes within Bronfenbrenner's framework at five levels: (1) blindness acting as a barrier to stimulation and communication, health and complex needs all affecting the individual child; (2) understanding of VI, ability to be responsive at the microsystem level of the carer; (3) support from other carers at microsystem level within a mesosystem; (4) support from other professionals (knowledge of, identification and management of children with VI, responsibilities and gender roles, environmental safety and prejudice, stigma and child protection all at the level of the exosystem.Discussion: This study has revealed the requirements needed in order to produce meaningful and appropriate programmes to support nutrition, care and early stimulation for children with VI in this and similar African settings. This includes supporting carers to understand their child's developmental needs, how to better communicate with, feed and stimulate their child; offering advice sensitive to carers' responsibilities and professional training to better support carers and challenge community stigma.

KW - Africa

KW - child disability

KW - early child development

KW - low and middle income

KW - qualitative

KW - visual impairment

U2 - 10.1111/cch.12462

DO - 10.1111/cch.12462

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 608

EP - 620

JO - Child: Care, Health & Development

JF - Child: Care, Health & Development

SN - 0305-1862

IS - 4

ER -