Stressors, coping mechanisms and quality of life among dialysis patients in Australia



The aim of this study was to determine the significant stressors and coping methods which are related to quality of life in dialysis patients A survey was conducted on patients in two dialysis centres in Sydney The response rate was 58% (n= 64) The results revealed that limitation of physical activity was the most troublesome stressor followed by decrease in social life, uncertainty about the future, fatigue and muscle cramps Although their ranking was not identical to that found in prior studies, these five stressors were considered to be compatible with the high stressors identified in previous studies Problem-solving methods were considered to be more effective than affective measures in dealing with stressors Quality of life was perceived as below average in both haemodialysis and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients However, CAPD patients were experiencing a higher quality of life than haemodialysis patients The length of time on the dialysis programme was not significantly related to coping behaviour The findings of this study can further facilitate nurse practitioners in providing support, information, alternative solutions and in assisting patients to better utilize problem-solving methods to enhance their quality of life on dialysis