n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Psychosocial and physical experiences of haemodialysis patients in Ghana

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


The chronicity of end-stage renal disease and the uncertainties surrounding the course of the disease and its treatment necessitate ongoing psychosocial assessment of these patients. This study explored the psychosocial and physical experiences of haemodialysis patients. A qualitative study was conducted in one medical unit of a teaching hospital in Accra, Ghana. A sample of 10 female and male end-stage renal disease patients, undergoing haemodialysis, were recruited. Interviews were audio taped. Data were transcribed verbatim and were analysed through content analysis, coding and categorisation.

From the experiences narrated by the participants, four main themes emerged, which were divided into sub-themes. These included: psychological experiences (anxiety, depression, anger, worrying, and fear of death); social experiences (intentional isolation, inability to attend social functions, and effect of dialysis on marriage); economic encounters (difficulty in financing the treatment, loss of income, lowered productivity); and physical experiences (problems with sleeping, with fluid and diet restrictions, and with accessing the treatment site). Based on these findings, it is recommended that counselling centres should be attached to dialysis units in order to counsel patients and their families before haemodialysis commences. Future studies should capture how haemodialysis patients cope with their psychosocial experiences.

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