Objectives: To assess and describe the experiences of those caring for hepatitis C patients in Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: Using a qualitative approach, the study adopted a descriptive exploratory design for which 8 caregirers were selected through snowball sampling technique from different parts of Karachi. Data was collected between May and July 2010 through semi-structured interviews from the caregivers. The interviews were recorded on tape and were transcribed verbatim. The data was manually analysed for extracting themes and categories.
Results: The analyses of data led to one theme - \'deadly, dangerous, and devastating. Two associated categories could also be noted: \'perceptions and misperceptions of the caregivers about hepatitis C\' and \'challenges and adversities of the disease.\'
Conclusion: The diagnosis of hepatitis C had a profound impact on patients\' and the caregivers\' wellbeing. Although to some extent, caregivers were found to have fulfilled their role, but it was evident that better disease knowledge, funds and social support could have further helped them to address issues related to the disease.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/raisa_gul/10/