The management of food cravings and thirst in hemodialysis patients: A qualitative study

J Health Psychol. 2016 Feb;21(2):217-27. doi: 10.1177/1359105314525066. Epub 2014 Mar 21.


This study set out to explore the experience of food cravings and thirst, and their management strategies in patients on hemodialysis. Semi-structured interviews with N = 32 hemodialysis patients were analyzed thematically. Findings indicated that food cravings and thirst were common in everyday life of patients and resulted in different emotional responses. A combination of cognitive and behavioral strategies was employed, including avoidance, controlled consumption, and substitution. Self-monitoring and compensatory strategies were also used to prevent or compensate for lapses. These findings lay the groundwork for future work aimed to improve adherence in end-stage renal disease patients.

Keywords: adherence; end-stage renal disease; food cravings; hemodialysis; thirst.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Craving / physiology*
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diet therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Thirst / physiology*
  • Young Adult