Even though Greece has a disproportionate number of haemodialysis stations for the treatment of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and a rapidly rising number of patients on dialysis, there has been no study of the lived experience of haemodialysis treatment in Greece. ESRD and dialysis drastically impact patients' everyday life, therefore expectations and desires play a major role in adapting to alterations and restrictions. An understanding of these culturally-influenced expectations and desires is essential for the delivery of holistic nursing care. This study aimed to explore how Greek patients receiving long-term haemodialysis perceived their problems and to describe the impact of haemodialysis on their lives. Using a grounded theory approach, 23 patients with ESRD receiving haemodialysis were purposively recruited from two hospital dialysis centres in Athens, Greece. Data were collected during 2006 by personal interviews. Given a distinctive patient experience of haemodialysis, some insight into their common concerns can facilitate provision of healthcare services that adequately meets their needs. By developing an understanding of the experience of renal illness and therapy for a group of people using dialysis, this study was intended as a contribution towards enabling healthcare professionals to provide more effective support to people who are living with this chronic condition.