The Patient Experience of Waiting on the Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant List While Receiving Dialysis

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End stage renal disease (ESRD) is a global health problem, and the gold standard treatment is kidney transplantation. However, due to the global shortage of organs, many patients with ESRD rely on dialysis for survival while waiting several years for a kidney transplant. An integrative review of qualitative studies was conducted on the experience of patients with ESRD who require either peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis while waiting for a deceased donor kidney transplant. Eight international studies were selected for review. Six themes were identified: 1) living in hope, 2) uncertainty, 3) mixed emotions, 4) coping with waiting, 5) restrictions on freedom, and 6) support network. Patients on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant have emotional, educational, and informational needs that need to be better understood and addressed by nurses and physicians.

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