To explore the association between the sociodemographic factors and the needs of patients undergoing haemodialysis in Taiwan.Background
Concomitant discomfort, including physical and mental aspects, affects the patients’ quality of life and their willingness to undergo haemodialysis. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a well-known tool to assess different levels of human needs.Method
We conducted a small-scale cross-sectional observational study using a structured needs assessment questionnaire on 159 patients from the Taipei Veterans General Hospital haemodialysis unit.Results
The overall mean scores of physical, mental, spiritual, other needs and needs in relation to medical staff care were 4.0 ± 0.8, 3.2 ± 0.8, 2.7 ± 1.0, 3.1 ± 0.9 and 4.1 ± 0.7, respectively. The results showed that the patients’ highest need was in relation to medical staff care, followed by physical needs. Further analysis showed that patients who are still employed during the treatment process have higher mental, spiritual and other needs. Patient who is financially supported by their family has higher physical needs. Patients taken care of by paid caregivers have lower spiritual needs and other needs. This is also the same with patients who are religious as opposed to those who are nonreligious. Patients who have attained tertiary education have higher other needs compared with patients who have only achieved up to primary or secondary education.Conclusion
The study is the first in Taiwan to identify and quantify the needs of patients undergoing haemodialysis. When the needs of the patients are identified in relation to their sociodemographic factors, the medical staff can give the appropriate treatment in order to meet the needs and improve the patients’ well-being.Relevance to clinical practice
Healthcare providers should not only focus on the patients’ physiological needs, but should determine and address their other needs in various aspects in order to improve the quality and efficacy of the dialysis care process.