Burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan: A qualitative study

Authors

  • Yueh-Mei Gau RN MSN,

    PhD candidate, Lecturer, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan
    • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
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  • Kim Usher RN RPN RMRN DHS BA MNST PhD FANZCMHN FRCNA,

    Professor
    1. Nursing and Associate Dean Graduate Research Studies, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Lee Stewart RN RM DipTch(Nsg) BHlthS PGCertEd MDisputeResolution PhD,

    Associate Professor and Head of School
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
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  • Petra Buettner PhD MSc

    Associate Professor
    1. School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
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Correspondence: Yueh-Mei Gau, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, James Cook Drive, Townsville, Qld 4810, Australia. Email: ymgau@gw.cgust.edu.tw

Abstract

In Taiwan, volunteers of each Community Health Promotion Development Centres help to diffuse healthy lifestyle education and complement the paid workforce, especially community nurses. An interpretive, descriptive qualitative design, using focus groups, was conducted to explore the burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan. The data were analyzed inductively, and emergent themes were explored. The majority of participants were female between 50 and 59 years old with an average of 4.5 years experience as a volunteer. Thematic analysis resulted in four themes: preparation and scope of practice, lack of support for the role, work overload and expectations of the role. Volunteers in Taiwan do not always have the necessary skills to care for their clientele because of an inadequate programme of orientation, lack of continuing education and support for the role, role overload and expectations placed upon them by the clients and others.

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