Promotion of a primary healthcare philosophy in a community-based nursing education programme from the students’ perspective

I Ndateba, F Mtshali, S Z Mthembu


Background. Community-based education (CBE) serves as a primordial instrument in the implementation of primary healthcare (PHC). Learning experiences in community-based settings provide students with learning opportunities, as they are actively engaged in PHC-associated activities in under-resourced communities. Many nursing schools in higher education integrated and implemented a CBE programme with an end-goal of becoming healthcare practitioners who are responsive to the needs of the community.
Objectives. To establish how PHC philosophy is promoted through a community-based nursing education programme.
Methods. The study was non-experimental and cross-sectional with a quantitative approach and was done at a selected higher education institution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A total of 118 participants were selected using the non-probability convenience sampling technique. A self-report questionnaire was distributed to the participants; 91 questionnaires were completed and returned – a response rate of 73.3%. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Ethics Review Committee. Participation was voluntary, informed consent was obtained, and other ethical principles were respected. Data were analysed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive and analytical analysis was used to analyse the data.
Results. The participants reported exposure to community-based learning from the first until the fourth year of their study programme. Participants (69.9%) indicated that their learning activities had involved members of the community. The community-based learning projects, which mostly promoted a PHC philosophy, included prevention of illness, injuries and social problems (90.1%), health promotion (89%) and engaging communities in community-based learning activities to promote their self-reliance and self-determination (76.9%).
Conclusion. Findings revealed that the community-based learning experiences of students promoted a PHC philosophy and that underprivileged community settings provided a rich learning environment.

Authors' affiliations

I Ndateba, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

F Mtshali, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

S Z Mthembu, KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing, Durban, South Africa

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Nursing education; Community-based education; Community-based learning; Primary healthcare; Community-service learning

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2015;7(2):190-193. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.399

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-03-09
Date published: 2015-11-21

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