Barriers to leading youth victims of violence towards wellness as a community in the Western Cape Province of South Africa
Ahanonu, Ezihe L.
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Youth violence is one of the key contributors to the burden of disease and injuries in South Africa. This article is aimed at describing the barriers experienced by healthcare professionals with regards to leading youth victims of violence to wellness. The findings presented are part of a larger qualitative study investigating healthcare professionals' leadership experiences with youth victims of violence at a selected community in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was adopted. Data collection was done using unstructured individual interviews among all the seven healthcare professionals (two professional nurses, three medical doctors and two social workers) who provide healthcare services for youth victims of violence in the community. Trustworthiness was ensuredthroughout data collection and collected data were analysed by means of open coding. Ethical clearance was received from an ethical review committee prior to the conduct of the study. Barriers encountered by healthcare professionals while supporting the youth victims included environmental, relational, structural and procedural barriers. Environmental barriers encompassed prevalent violent behaviours; drug and substance abuse among the youth in the community while relational had to do with attitudes of staff. Structural barriers involved inadequate structures and human resources, and procedural barriers comprised the challenging process of guiding the youth victims to wellness. This study demonstrated that healthcare professionals experience challenges in leading youth victims of violence to wellness in their community. Useful information on how they can lead them to wellness is required particularly in resource-poor settings.