Attitudes and beliefs of patients with chronic kidney disease in the Rustenburg area, North west regarding kidney dysfunction

Njoro, Mmampu Magdeline
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Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes and beliefs of patients with chronic kidney disease regarding kidney dysfunction in the Rustenburg area. Background: Kidney disease is still regarded as a low risk disease in Rustenburg, particularly among the rural community with low literacy level. Some of the people believe that chronic kidney is caused by driving heavy duty vehicles and hard labour whilst some associate the symptoms of chronic kidney disease with cultural disease resulting from failure to undergo cultural practices after the death of spouse or life partner. Low awareness of kidney disease results in patients seeking traditional cure that may cause further deterioration of their kidney dysfunction and progress to end stage renal disease, and therefore need lifelong dialysis or kidney transplantation. Research Methods: An explorative, descriptive qualitative research method was chosen for this study. Participants were patients with chronic kidney disease attending haemodialysis treatment at a dialysis unit of a level II public sector hospital. This dialysis unit provides both acute and chronic haemodialysis treatment and peritoneal dialysis training, and has eight chronic and two acute haemodialysis machines. Individual, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted using an interview guide (Appendix A). Participants were conveniently sampled until point of saturation was reached, and nine participants constituted the sample. Inclusion criteria were 18 years old and above, men and women, on haemodialysis for more than six months and willing to be interviewed. Patients who did not attend haemodialysis on the day of the interviews were excluded from the study. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and analysed according to Tesch’s method of qualitative data analysis. Significance of the study: This study uncovered the attitudes and beliefs of patients with chronic kidney disease regarding kidney dysfunction. Uncovering their attitudes and beliefs has enlightened nephrology nurses on future renal care initiatives that may improve both patients and the community’s attitudes and beliefs regarding kidney disease. Findings: The study has shown that chronic kidney disease has a profound and devastating impact on the patient, his family and significant others. The study further revealed that traditional healing and cultural health is still widely practiced by most of the patients with chronic kidney disease particularly in the rural areas. There is poor awareness of kidney disease as well as risk factors associated with kidney disease among this community. Conclusion: This rural population was not knowledgeable about kidney disease nor the risk factors associated with this condition. Nephrology nurses should conduct kidney awareness campaigns in order to educate the patients and public about kidney disease order to correct their attitudes and beliefs towards chronic kidney disease.
Research Report submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Of Master of Science in Nursing Johannesburg, 2015