• arteriovenous fistula;
  • haemodialysis;
  • self-care;
  • vascular access

Aims and objectives

The literature shows many self-care behaviours related to people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Our aim is to identify interventions within the ‘teaching’ that promote self-care (behaviour) with arteriovenous fistula (AVF).


The development of self-care behaviours with the AVF allows the access to maintain the best possible conditions, because its state influences the efficacy of the dialysis treatment. However, few studies assess self-care behaviours that people with ESRD have with the AVF, as well as interventions that promote this self-care.


Discursive paper.


Our research was conducted in MEDLINE, Health Nursing and Allied Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science and SCOPUS using three search expressions, between the period of 2000–2010. We selected studies that identified interventions that promote self-care with AVF.


No study has shown in detail the interventions that aimed at promoting self-care behaviours with the AVF for patients with ESRD. We verify that the interventions that promote self-care are directed mostly to the moments after AVF construction.


This paper reinforces the need to develop guidelines that provide guidance for self-care with the AVF to be developed by people with ESRD. We also found that self-care behaviours directed to the AVF are mostly associated with postconstruction of the access.

Relevance to clinical practice

Based on these results, it is necessary to delineate clear intervention programmes and objectives, in order to assess self-care with the AVF by people with ESRD, as well as to develop guidelines that provide guidance for self-care for the person with an AVF.