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The capacity of district hospitals to accommodate the decentralisation of mental health services: a cross sectional study of five government district hospitals in Botswana

In Southern Botswana, an expected advantage of the decentralisation and integration of
mental health services into general health services was the potential to allow for the district
hospitals to manage a larger number of mentally ill patients thus decreasing the patient load
of Lobatse Mental Hospital. However, the number of admissions to the referral hospital for
the south of Botswana is increasing. The objective of the study was to describe the
capacity of district hospitals to care for mentally ill patients in terms of the provision of
relevant inpatient, outpatient and outreach mental health services as well as the availability
of trained workers who agree with the principles of decentralisation of mental health
Materials and methods
This was a descriptive cross sectional study involving a self-administered questionnaire
survey of key informants and health care providers conducted in five district hospitals in the south of Botswana. There were a total of 5 Chief Medical Officers, and 75 ward staff
(12 doctors and 63 nurses) in the study.
The quantitative data was entered using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS
version 13) and analyzed by this software. The qualitative data was coded and thematically
analysed and reported.
In all five hospitals, all the doctors and nurses had undergraduate training in psychiatry and
were expected to manage mentally ill patients. There were eighteen health workers (1
doctor and 17 nurses) with postgraduate training in psychiatry/mental health.
Date16 July 2008
CreatorsGarrett-Walcott, Simone Alison
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
Format442378 bytes, application/pdf, application/pdf

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