Introduction: Renal disease is a condition that has important repercussions on the patients’ quality of life and more specifically on their social, economic and individual well-being. The aim of the present study was to investigate the repercussions of hemodialysis in end-stage renal disease patients. The following aspects were studied: admission to hemodialysis, social life, hospital environment and relations developing within it, and also individual attitudes and perceptions.
Materials and Methods: In the present qualitative study, the people who were selected to participate in the interviews (n=5) were of different ages, family status, lifestyles and backgrounds. The interviews took place either in the Hemodialysis Unit or anywhere the informant wanted to. Mixed questions were used, so that the participants could either elaborate on something, or give specific answers.
Results: It was found that the patients’ admission to hemodialysis triggers a series of changes in their personalities, their financial and professional status, their interpersonal and social relationships, and their self-image, having an overall negative impact on their quality of life.
Conclusions: Well-coordinated and targeted efforts are needed, in order for the patients to have a better quality of daily life. The patients undergo major lifestyle changes and depend on the hemodialysis machine, consequently it is required that an interdisciplinary healthcare team be created, which could help alleviating the physical and psychosocial effects of hemodialysis and lead to a better quality of life for the patients.
Key-words: hemodialysis, perceptions, physical effects, psychosocial effects, quality of life, qualitative study, renal disease