Attitudes toward stress and coping among primary caregivers of patients undergoing hemodialysis: A Q-methodology study

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Hemodialysis (HD) causes many life changes, not only for patients undergoing it but also for their families by allowing them to rely on this lifesaving equipment unless they receive a kidney transplant. The stress of the primary caregivers, who spends the most time in the family taking care of the patient undergoing HD, is quite high. This study was to identify attitudes about stress and coping among primary caregivers of HD patients.


Q-methodology was undertaken because it integrates quantitative and qualitative research methods. A convenience sample of 33 primary caregivers of HD patients participated. Forty selected Q-samples were obtained from each participant and were classified into a forced normal distribution using a nine-point grid. Data was analyzed using a pc-QUANL program.


Three discrete factors emerged as follows: Factor I (they reduced their stress by participating in religious activities; religious sublimation), Factor II (they always worried about the caregiving situations and about the patients' conditions; nervousness), and Factor III (they thought it better to accept their stressful situations; leading handler). Three factors accounted for 44.5% of all the variance, including Factor I (26.0%), Factor II (10.1%), and Factor III (8.4%). The eigenvalues were 8.58, 3.34, and 2.79, respectively.


The subjectivities of the three factors that were identified can be applied during the planning stages of effective interventions for stress and coping. Healthcare workers in clinical practices should consider assesses primary caregivers' attitudes about stress and coping and approaches their situation to cope with it and to adapt to lifestyle changes.

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