Using images to communicate the hidden struggles of life on dialysis

Bennett, Paul N., Bonner, Ann, Andrew, Janet, Nandkumar, Jyotsna, & Au, Catherine (2013) Using images to communicate the hidden struggles of life on dialysis. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 6(1), pp. 12-21.

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Background: Nurse-patient communication in the hemodialysis context is unique given the amount of time spent together in a confined clinical room. Poor communication may lead to low quality nursing care and undesirable patient outcomes.

Aim: To explore the use of images as a visual communication technique for nurses and patients in the hemodialysis context.

Methods: Descriptive qualitative design. Fifty two cards containing specific photos, illustrations and words were used in conversations between patients (n = 9) and one of two nurse interviewers about being on hemodialysis. Interview transcripts were thematically analysed.

Findings: An overall theme titled ‘revealing the hidden struggles of living on dialysis’ conceptually captured three sub-themes: (1) the increased importance of relationships; (2) the struggle with money; and (3) quality over quantity of life. The cards assisted in uncovering these often covert (to nurses) aspects of dialysis patients’ lives.

Conclusion: Nurses may need to be aware of the dialysis patients’ hidden struggles which include the importance of relationships, financial issues and the importance of quality aspects such as travel. The use of images may assist in revealing the important issues for each patient struggling with the restrictive life that is imposed by dialysis.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 63339
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Communication, Dialysis, Metaphor, Nursing, Qualitative research
DOI: 10.1179/1753807613Y.0000000031
ISSN: 1753-8068
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 15 Oct 2013 00:42
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2014 21:44

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