Kidney transplantation: determination of the problems encountered by Turkish patients and their knowledge and practices on healthy living

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Abstract

Background

Although renal transplantations remove many limitations, dialysis can improve quality life in patients with end-stage renal disease, once transplantation has been performed and the patient has been discharged with a functioning graft, life with a chronic illness continues.

Aims and objectives

This study was carried out to define problems encountered by patients undergoing kidney transplantation and their knowledge and practices on healthy living.

Design

This study was designed as a retrospective and descriptive survey.

Methods

This study was performed on 125 patients who were followed at Social Insurance Institute's Ankara Speciality Hospital Transplantation Clinic between March and August 2001. A convenience sample was drawn from the population of renal transplant patients. A questionnaire was prepared based on the literature, which included patients' socio-demographic information, physiological problems, diseases and repeated hospitalizations; side-effects and usage of immunosuppressive drugs, knowledge and practices of patients regarding healthy living and their knowledge needs. Data were collected through interviews. Percentage and chi-square test were used in evaluation of the data.

Results

Physiological problems and diseases after renal transplantations were seen such as 38.4% had infections in urinary and respiratory tract. Some had hypertension (22.4%) hypercholesterolaemia (26.5%) and 5.6% had malignancy. Most (67.2%) developed antirejection drugs side-effects. About 55.2% were admitted to hospital after renal transplantation and 68.8% had not received any training after transplantation from a health professional. Only 35.2% knew the signs and symptoms of rejection entirely or partly. It was determined that 55.2% stated that they avoid sunlight and 56% stated that they exercise regularly. Only 26.8% of female patients do regular breast self-examination. While 52.8% listed the forbidden foods correctly, only 27.2% could list the forbidden beverages accurately.

Conclusions

According to the results, patients undergoing renal transplantation experience various problems that may influence their quality of life adversely and their knowledge and practice is not adequate for them to continue to lead healthy lives.

Relevance to clinical practice

In accordance with the results of the study, offering continuing education and counselling services, preparing training guides, brochures, video cassettes and CDs for patient education, improving the national web sites to inform the public and creation of a home care system were suggested.

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