The Development of the Burden on Community Health Volunteers (BCHVs) Tool and the Measurement of Burden Experienced by Community Health Volunteers in Taiwan

Thursday, 2 August 2012: 8:30 AM

Yueh-Mei Gau
Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan County, Taiwan
Kim Usher, PhD
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia
Lee Stewart, PhD
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Petra Buettner, PhD
School of Public health, Tropical Medicine & Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Learning Objective 1: Identify the role of community health promotion volunteers in Taiwan; and explain the important steps in the development and testing of a new tool.

Learning Objective 2: Understand the burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan

Without volunteers, many health promotion activities in Taiwan would cease to be available to people. Since the Taiwan Government funding for community health promotion diminished, some centres have not been able to continue to recruit volunteers, offer health promotion in the community, or integrate manpower and materials from the local community for the purpose of delivering health promotion to members of the community.  Health promotion volunteers often face negative attitudes to their role from community members that lead to frustration. The volunteers may also be engaged in other forms of volunteering, which could lead to burden and result in attrition from the role. To date however there has been little empirical evidence that addresses the burden experienced by community health volunteers in Taiwan and no instrument to measure the phenomenon.

Purpose: To develop a questionnaire to measure burden experienced by community health volunteers and to measure burdens experienced by a current cohort of volunteers in Taiwan.

Methods: Using a sequential mixed method exploratory design the study incorporated three phases: initial development of a questionnaire, testing of the questionnaire, and surveying a large sample of volunteers using the developed questionnaire.

Results: The 20 item instrument showed good internal consistency, content validity, and construct validity. Using a stratified random sampling approach 435 participants in a region of Taiwan completed the final questionnaire. The findings indicated that overall the burden experienced by the participants was low to medium. However, volunteers who undertook greater hours, volunteers without partners, and those who had poorer personal physical health experienced greater burden.

Conclusion: Community nurses in Taiwan will be able to use the tool to assess the burden experienced by volunteers. The tool will hopefully widely used given the important role of volunteers in complementing the work of community nurses.