Everyday Life among Next of Kin of Haemodialysis Patients

Abstract: Everyday life can be complex when next of kin of haemodialysis patients are preoccupied with taking care of the patient and his/her health, which implies the difficulties and requirements needed. The general aim of this thesis was to explore and describe everyday life among next of kin of haemodialysis patients with focus on the life situation, health, time and professional support. Two perspectives of the thesis was applied: a holistic perspective on the everyday life of next of haemodialysis patient and a social perspective with focus on human communication and understanding of next of kin’s experience of everyday life. A qualitative descriptive and explorative design, comprising a phenomenographic and content analysis was used in Studies I-IV. The data collected in the studies consisted of interviews with next of kin to haemodialysis patient and analysis of professional support for next of kin to chronic haemodialysis patients in nursing documentation from two hospitals in Sweden. The experience of time in everyday life among next of kin of haemodialysis patients demonstrated that time for them is minimised and life space contracted. Next of kin experienced ambivalence towards their own health, especially in cases of patients’ spouses When next of kin of haemodialysis patient’s became involved in the patients’ care, they experienced arduousness in relation to their own health as well as less uninterrupted time for themselves in everyday life, and their life situation was characterised by confinement and social isolation. They were aware of the prognosis of renal disease and the fact that haemodialysis is a life-sustaining treatment, which forced them to live for the moment. The everyday life among the next of kin changed when the family became involved in the care, which in turn lead to a changed life situation and restrictions in everyday life. Lack of knowledge in nursing documentation of professional support revealed necessity of the readiness of next of kin. It is therefore important to be familiar with this in the nursing process, especially when the patient and their next of kin need support and attention in everyday life.Original papers not included.