A quality improvement project on empowerment in chronic kidney care an interactive research approach

University dissertation from Jönköping : School of Health Sciences

Abstract: One way of improving health care has been conceptualized as personcentred care. In person-centred care the concept of empowerment is crucial. This thesis aims was to explore the meaning of empowerment from the perspective of persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and their family members and to evaluate the outcomes of an improvement intervention (QI) for the persons with CKD. Furthermore, to explore the implementation of an QI for empowerment in the context of chronic kidney care from a professional perspective. The research was based on an interactive approach in which the findings relating to the experiences of empowerment by persons with CKD and their family members in chronic kidney care were used in developing the QI. The methods of data collection were both qualitative and quantitative. In all, 20 persons with CKD (Study I) and 12 family members (Study II) participated in the interviews. In the quasi-experimental evaluation of the QI, 25 individuals took part in the intervention group and 21 persons in the comparison group (Study III). Twelve healthcare professionals participated in the case study of the QI (Study IV). Empowerment in chronic kidney care for the persons with CKD was described in terms of creation of trust and learning through encounters. The family members of the persons with CKD described empowerment as having the strength to assume responsibility. The outcomes of the QI after 2 years showed significantly higher scores for individualized care in the intervention group than in the comparison group. The facilitators in the QI were the healthcare professionals' moving spirit and encouragement from involved persons. As a barrier, the healthcare professionals referred to the limitation of the organization. In conclusion, the individual’s perspective of empowerment is important, both for quality of care and as a facilitator for QI in chronic kidney care.