An evaluation of self‐management outcomes among chronic care patients in community home‐based care programmes in rural Malawi: A 12‐month follow‐up study.
This paper investigates the impact of community home‐based care (CHBC) on self‐management outcomes for chronically ill patients in rural Malawi. A pre‐ and post‐evaluation survey was administered among 140 chronically ill patients with HIV and non‐communicable diseases, newly enrolled in four CHBC programmes. We translated, adapted and administered scales from the Stanford Chronic Disease Self Management Programme to evaluate patient’s self‐management outcomes (health status and self‐efficacy), at four time points over a 12 month period, between April 2016 and May 2017. The patient’s drop‐out rate was approximately 8%. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, tests of associations, correlations and pairwise comparison of outcome variables between time points, and multivariate regression analysis to explore factors associated with changes in self‐efficacy following CHBC interventions. The results indicate a reduction in patient‐reported pain, fatigue and illness intrusiveness, while improvements in general health status and quality of life were not statistically significant. At baseline, the self‐efficacy mean was 5.91, which dropped to 5.1 after 12 months. Factors associated with this change included marital status, education, employment and were condition‐related; whereby self‐efficacy for non‐HIV and multimorbid patients was much lower. The odds for self‐efficacy improvement were lower for patients with diagnosed conditions of longer duration. CHBC programme support, regularity of contact and proximal location to other services influenced self‐efficacy. Programmes maintaining regular home visits had higher patient satisfaction levels. Our findings suggest that there were differential changes in self‐management outcomes following CHBC interventions. While self‐management support through CHBC programmes was evident, CHBC providers require continuous training, supervision and sustainable funding to strengthen their contribution. Furthermore, sociodemographic and condition‐related factors should inform the design of future interventions to optimise outcomes. This study provides a systematic evaluation of self‐management outcomes for a heterogeneous chronically ill patient population and highlights the potential and relevant contribution of CHBC programmes in improving chronic care within sub‐Saharan Africa.View full text