EXPLORING SYMPTOMS IN PATIENTS MANAGED WITHOUT DIALYSIS: A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH STUDY

Authors


  • Noble H., Meyer J., Bridges J., Johnson B., Kelly D. (2010). Exploring symptoms in patients managed without dialysis: a qualitative research study. Journal of Renal Care36(1), 9–15.

CORRESPONDENCE
Helen Noble
School of Community and Health Sciences
City University
Philpot Street, London EC1 2EA,
United Kingdom
Tel.: 0207 040 5915
helen.noble.1@city.ac.uk

SUMMARY

Little is known about the prevalence and burden of symptoms in patients managed without dialysis. This study was the result of a larger study exploring the experiences of 30 such patients and their trajectories to death. Data were analysed relating to symptoms once the patients had been referred to a Renal Supportive Care Service based in the East End of London, UK. A high symptom prevalence was found with 30 different symptoms reported at first consultation. Widely reported symptoms impacting on daily living included breathlessness, oedema, pruritus, nausea and vomiting and pain. Findings indicate that as symptoms escalate and death approaches, some symptoms, such as fluid overload and lethargy become difficult to treat indicating that death is close. This new knowledge can help staff as they attempt to determine when the end of life is approaching in order to support and care for patients appropriately. This paper highlights a need for effective identification and management of symptoms as they arise and further exploration of the effects of these symptoms on daily living.

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