Original Research

Nurses’ perceived role on transition of adolescents with intellectual disabilities

Grace R. Malapela, Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae, Olabisi F. Ibitoye
African Journal of Disability | Vol 9 | a674 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v9i0.674 | © 2020 Olabisi Fatimo Ibitoye, Grace Rakgadi Malapela, Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 August 2019 | Published: 14 December 2020

About the author(s)

Grace R. Malapela, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Olabisi F. Ibitoye, Department of Health studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria and Department of Maternal Newborn and Child Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: The nurses’ role on the transition of adolescents living with intellectual disabilities has always been neglected. Nurses’ primary role is promote health, provide nursing care, alleviate suffering, and to rehabilitate. Improving the quality of life for individuals with intellectual disabilities when they undergo the transition process from adolescence to adulthood was previously not considered a priority.

Objective : To explore the perceived nurses’ role on the transition of adolescents with intellectual disabilities into adulthood.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive design using semi-structured interviews with 18 nurse participants were used. The sample included the nurses working in care and rehabilitation centres and non-governmental organisations in Tshwane District, Gauteng Province of South Africa were individually interviewed.

Results: Three main themes that emerged from the analysis were support systems, advocacy and health promotion.

Conclusion:  The findings of this study clearly show the need for a strong health care support system to facilitate a successful transition process. The study findings support the view that nurses can play a key role in assisting individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families in dealing with the challenges of transitioning into adulthood.

Keywords

Adolescents; adulthood; intellectual disabilities; nurses; role; transition

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