Health Services Research & Development

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstracts

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

O'Hare AM, Richards C, Szarka J, McFarland LV, Showalter W, Vig EK, Sudore RL, Crowley ST, Trivedi R, Taylor JS. Emotional Impact of Illness and Care on Patients with Advanced Kidney Disease. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN. 2018 Jul 6; 13(7):1022-1029.
PubMed logo Search for Abstract from PubMed
(This link leaves the website of VA HSR&D.)

Abstract: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The highly specialized and technologically focused approach to care inherent to many health systems can adversely affect patients'' emotional experiences of illness, while also obscuring these effects from the clinician''s view. We describe what we learned from patients with advanced kidney disease about the emotional impact of illness and care. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: As part of an ongoing study on advance care planning, we conducted semistructured interviews at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System in Seattle, Washington, with 27 patients with advanced kidney disease between April of 2014 and May of 2016. Of these, ten (37%) were receiving center hemodialysis, five (19%) were receiving peritoneal dialysis, and 12 (44%) had an eGFR=20 ml/min per 1.73 m and had not started dialysis. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed inductively using grounded theory methods. RESULTS: We here describe three emergent themes related to patients'' emotional experiences of care and illness: () emotional impact of interactions with individual providers: when providers seemed to lack insight into the patient''s experience of illness and treatment, this could engender a sense of mistrust, abandonment, isolation, and/or alienation; () emotional impact of encounters with the health care system: just as they could be affected emotionally by interactions with individual providers, patients could also be affected by how care was organized, which could similarly lead to feelings of mistrust, abandonment, isolation, and/or alienation; and () emotional impact of meaning-making: patients struggled to make sense of their illness experience, worked to apportion blame, and were often quick to blame themselves and to assume that their illness could have been prevented. CONCLUSIONS: Interactions with individual providers and with the wider health system coupled with patients'' own struggles to make meaning of their illness can take a large emotional toll. A deeper appreciation of patients'' emotional experiences may offer important opportunities to improve care.