Interpreting transition from adolescence to adulthood in patients on dialysis who have end-stage renal disease

J Ren Care. 2012 Sep;38(3):118-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-6686.2012.00310.x. Epub 2012 May 24.


Background: Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) undergo renal replacement therapies such as haemodialysis, and usually have to deal with a lifetime of treatment. If an individual has ESRD at a young age, eventually the individual experiences a stage of transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Methods: Interpretive phenomenology was used to uncover the meaning of transition from adolescence to adulthood. Six patients on haemodialysis between the ages of 17 to 22 years agreed to participate in the study. Multiple sources of data were utilised: semi-structured interviews, video recordings, diaries and field notes. Using Ricoeur's theory of interpretation, the data were analysed.

Results: Three general themes were found: Living a Shorter Life; Dependence and Independence; and Struggle of Being Normal Amidst Difference.

Conclusion: Transition to Adulthood among patients with ESRD is like a pendulum continuously moving in a back and forth motion. The "World-in-Between" is a constant search of self within two ends of characteristics: of holding on and giving up; expression and non-expression of self.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Dependency, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Renal Dialysis / psychology*
  • Young Adult