Purpose: Of this study was to explore the needs of hemodialysis patients and the factors that affect them.
Material & methods: The sample of the study included 141 patients undergoing hemodialysis. Data collection was performed by the method of interview using a specially designed questionnaire which served the purposes of the study. The needs were grouped into six categories. Patients were asked to answer how important was for them each of the statements in the questionnaire. Furthermore, there were collected socio-demographic characteristics, information on health status and relations with the physicians and nurses, as well as data on the incidence of the disease in their social life.
Results: The results of this study showed that patients evaluated as fairly important all six categories of their needs, with similar results in both sexes. Age was found to be statistically significantly associated with 'the need for support and guidance', 'the need to be informed' and 'the need to meet the emotional and physical needs', (p=0.023, p=0.012, p=0.028 respectively). Education level was found to be statistically significantly associated with all patients' needs with the exception of 'the need to trust the medical and nursing staff', (p=<0.05). Place of residence was statistically significantly associated with 'the need for support and guidance', (p=0.029). Furthermore, difficulties in relations with family members was found to be statistically significantly associated with 'the need for support, the need for communication and individualization of care', (p=0.014, p=0.040, p=0.041). After multivariate analysis, however, it was shown that the only independent factor affecting 'the need for support and guidance', 'the need for individualized care' and 'the need to meet the emotional and physical needs', was if the patients reported themselves as anxious or not (p=0,024, p=0,012 and p=0,004, respectively). In particular, patients who considered themselves anxious had 1.38, 1.5 and 1.6 points respectively higher score in the evaluation of the importance of needs compared to patients who did not consider themselves anxious.
Conclusions: Factors affecting needs of hemodialysis patients are age, education level, place of residence difficulties in relations with family members as well as anxious personality as reported by the patients.