In this open access publication , we explore the experiences shared by people living with chronic kidney disease and their family members:
Aims: To describe how people diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and their family members describe uncertainty related to impending death.
Background: There has been little research about the experiences of people with chronic kidney disease and their family members as they near the end-of-life. We need to understand these experiences to give holistic person-centred care.
Design: A narrative enquiry was undertaken using a social constructionist perspective.
Methods: Data were collected in two in-depth interviews, approximately 3-4 months apart, followed by a telephone follow-up 2-3 months later.
Results: Eleven people with advanced chronic kidney disease and nine family members/significant others participated. For both participants in the dyad, a number of key themes/storylines were identified. These included recognition that: @life has a boundary, living on the edge, I’m not afraid to die but… and remembering loss and death experiences.
Conclusions: This enquiry illuminated four key storylines of about death and dying with advanced chronic kidney disease for people with the illness and their family members. Discussion about past experiences with illness, loss, death, and dying can give an entry for discussion about end-of-life. The person with illness and family members often held very similar perceptions and desires, but healthcare professionals’ contributions to understanding of the experience were not mentioned. Implications for clinicians include attending to peoples’ awareness of death as a distinct opportunity, listening attentively and posing questions that genuinely invite concerns and wishes about end-of-life and living well.
Reference: Molzahn, A.E., Sheilds, L., Bruce, A., Schick-Makaroff, A.E., Antonio, M., & White, L. (2018). Living with Dying: A Narrative Inquiry of People with Chronic Kidney Disease and their Family Members. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 10.1111/jan.13830