The experiences of suffering of end-stage renal failure patients in Malaysia: a thematic analysis

Tan Seng Beng, Loh Ai Yun, Liew Xin Yi, Loo Hui Yan, Ng Kok Peng, Lim Soo Kun, Sheriza Izwa Zainuddin, Loh Ee Chin, Lam Chee Loong

Abstract

Background: The population of end-stage renal failure (ESRF) receiving dialysis treatment is increasing worldwide. For most patients with ESRF, dialysis can extend their life. However, treatment can be demanding and time-consuming. Despite dialysis treatment, many patients continue to experience various sufferings.
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted with semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of suffering of ESRF patients on maintenance dialysis in Malaysia. The results were thematically analyzed.
Results: Nineteen ESRF patients were interviewed. The themes and subthemes were: (I) physical suffering—physical symptoms and functional limitations, (II) psychological suffering—the emotions and thoughts of suffering, (III) social suffering—healthcare-related suffering and burdening of others and (4) spiritual suffering—the queries of suffering.
Conclusions: These findings may help healthcare professionals to fill in the gaps in the delivery of best renal palliative care.