Burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan: a survey

Gau, Yueh-Mei, Buettner, Petra, Usher, Kim, and Stewart, Lee (2013) Burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan: a survey. BMC Public Health, 13 (1). 491. pp. 1-8.

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Background Volunteers in Taiwan complement the delivery of health services by paid health professionals. However, in doing so, community health volunteers experience burdens associated with their activities. The reasons for these burdens and degree to which they are experienced are explored in this paper. Our study adds to international research regarding the burden experienced by volunteers. This project is the first to assess how community health volunteers in Taiwan experience burden.

Methods The 20 item Burden on Community Health Volunteer (BCHV) instrument, specifically designed for this project, was administered to 435 volunteers attached to Community Health Promotion Development Centres in northern Taiwan.

Results The overall burden experienced by volunteers is relatively low. However, a multivariate adjusted regression analysis revealed significant differences in volunteer burden depending on the number of people each volunteer served on average per week, as well as the volunteer’s marital status and their perceptions about personal health. Volunteers who served many people and who perceived their own health as poor experienced a higher level of burden. Those who were a widow or a widower felt less burdened than others.

Conclusions The results of the study identify areas where burden is high and where strategies can be developed to reduce the level of burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan. Community health volunteers in Taiwan complement the role of nurses and other health care providers so their retention is important to ongoing service delivery.

Item ID: 29086
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2458
Keywords: volunteers; burden; community health volunteers; health promotion
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: James Cook University
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2013 02:37
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 100%
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