Perceptions of caregivers regarding engagement with integrated management of chronic kidney disease patients in selected public hospitals of KwaZulu-Natal region, South Africa
Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients rely on non-professional health care providers, namely caregivers to manage their long-term condition. Despite the growing literature on CKD patients, little is known about the perceptions of caregivers regarding integrated management of CKD.
Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the perceptions of caregivers with regard to integrated management of CKD patients.
Setting: The study took place in selected public hospitals of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa.
Method: A qualitative case study design was used. A purposive sampling method was used to select the study participants. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview schedule developed from the literature. Data were analysed through thematic template approach using Health Belief Model constructs.
Results: Hypertension and diabetes mellitus were risk factors that worsen progression of CKD. Unemployment, lifestyle changes and limited social interaction were revealed as negative effects of CKD. Caregivers were aware of consequences of non-engagement with integrated management. The revealed positive benefits of integrated management were mainly physiological and system-related. Barriers to engagement with integrated management were side effects of diet and haemodialysis, hot weather, unemployment, false perception of good health and shortage of kidneys for transplant.
Conclusion: Chronic kidney disease patients require caregivers support to help with necessary changes to cope and adapt with integrated management of the disease. These caregivers experience effects of CKD, consequences of non-engagement and barriers to integrated management. Identification of caregivers perceptions offers healthcare workers a better understanding and formulation of strategies that can offer adequate support to this population.