Experiences of adults living with a kidney transplant—effects on physical activity, physical function, and quality of life: a descriptive phenomenological study

Joe Antoun, Daniel J. Brown, Beth G. Clarkson, Anthony I. Shepherd, Nicholas C. Sangala, Robert J. Lewis, Melitta A. McNarry, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Jo Corbett, Zoe L. Saynor

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Abstract

Background: Although kidney transplantation is the best treatment for kidney failure, scarce research has examined its effects on physical activity, physical function and quality of life.

Objectives: To investigate the experiences of a group of adults living with advanced kidney disease focusing on quality of life, physical activity and function and to see how findings differ in a group of kidney transplant recipients.

Approach: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with adults with advanced kidney disease (n = 10; 70.5 ± 8.9 years) and adults who had received a kidney transplant (n = 10; 50.7 ± 11.5 years; transplant age: 42.7 ± 20.9 months). Interviews were transcribed verbatim, thematically analysed and composite vignettes developed.

Findings: Individuals with advanced kidney disease described a sense of loss and alteration to their life plans. Kidney transplant recipients reported increased freedom, independence and a return to near normality, with improved quality of life, physical activity and function compared with their pre-transplant lives. However, transplant recipients also described living with anxiety about the health of their transplant and fear it may fail.

Conclusion: Whilst adults living with advanced kidney disease often experience a reduced quality of life, physical activity and function, kidney transplantation can help facilitate a return to pre-disease levels of physical activity, physical function and quality of life. However, transplant recipients also reported living with anxiety around their new kidney failing. This study demonstrates the variability in the lived experiences of adults living with advanced kidney disease or a kidney transplant and highlights the need for patient-centred care.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Renal Care
Early online date17 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 17 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • chronic kidney disease
  • kidney transplant
  • physical activity
  • quality of life
  • well-being

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