Educational strategies and challenges in peritoneal dialysis: a qualitative study of renal nurses' experiences

J Clin Nurs. 2016 Jun;25(11-12):1729-39. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13191. Epub 2016 Apr 14.


Aims and objectives: The aim of the study was to explore renal nurses' experiences, strategies and challenges with regard to the patient education process in peritoneal dialysis.

Background: Patient education in peritoneal dialysis is essential to developing a successful home-based peritoneal dialysis program. In this area research is scarce and there is a particular lack of focus on the perspective of the renal nurse.

Design: Qualitative design formed by thematic qualitative text analysis.

Methods: Five group interviews (n = 20) were used to explore the challenges peritoneal dialysis nurses face and the training strategies they use. The interviews were analyzed with thematic qualitative content analysis using deductive and inductive subcategory application.

Results: The findings revealed the education barriers perceived by nurses that patients may face. They also showed that using assessment tools is important in peritoneal dialysis patient education, as is developing strategies to promote patient self-management. There is a need for a deeper understanding of affective learning objectives, and existing teaching activities and materials should be revised to incorporate the patient's perspective. Patients usually begin having questions about peritoneal dialysis when they return home and are described as feeling overwhelmed. Adapting existing conditions is considered a major challenge for patients and nurses.

Conclusions: The results provided useful insights into the best approaches to educating peritoneal dialysis patients and served to raise awareness of challenges experienced by renal nurses. Findings underline the need for nosogogy - an approach of teaching adults (andragogy) with a chronic disease. Flexibility and cooperation are competencies that renal nurses must possess.

Relevance to clinical practice: Still psychomotor skills dominate peritoneal dialysis patient training, there is a need of both a deeper understanding of affective learning objectives and the accurate use of (self-)assessment tools, particularly for health literacy.

Keywords: chronic diseases; content analysis; end-stage renal disease; nephrology nursing; patient education; peritoneal dialysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hemodialysis, Home / nursing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrology Nursing / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / nursing*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory / nursing
  • Qualitative Research