Objective: To elicit psychological and psychosocial problems existing in patients in dialysis and their partners, its being felt that the diversity involved has important implications for how service in dialysis units is delivered to patients and their partners.
Methods: The results of a series of interviews of 39 patients in dialysis and 21 partners of theirs, each interview individual, concerning their ways of thinking and their feelings and the behaviour, were analyzed in qualitative and content-oriented terms.
Results: Five basic themes could be identified: importance of treatment being individualized, dependency on an apparatus, consequences of the disease and its treatment, hopes for the future, and thoughts concerning life and death. Diversities relating to age, civil status, cultural and gender matters were disclosed.
Conclusion: The interview approach illustrated the importance of extended professional and individualized support in handling psychological and psychosocial disparities and needs in order to make treatment regimes more acceptable to the persons involved.
Practice implications: Suggestions are made concerning efforts to improve the care of patients receiving dialysis, and the importance of working with the patients and those closest to them in multidisciplinary teams.
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