• An investigation into the role of acceptance and related factors in quality of life among renal dialysis patients.

      Mitchell, Kathryn; Elander, James; Stewart, Paul; Stalker, Carol (University of DerbyCollege of Health, Psychology and Social Care, University of Derby, 2020-11-13)
      For patients with end stage renal disease, renal replacement therapy (RRT) is essential to a patient’s survival. Haemodialysis is one RRT, and a growing body of evidence has suggested that how patients relate to this treatment is associated with both clinical and psychological outcomes. Adjusting to illness is a complex process (Dennison, Moss-Morris, & Chalder, 2009; Moss-Morris, 2013; Walker, Jackson, & Littlejohn, 2004) and one factor identified as important in other chronic conditions is acceptance. Evidence supports that acceptance can be important in helping patients manage conditions that cannot be improved through medication or therapies (McCracken, 1998; Veehof, Oskam, Schreurs, & Bohlmeijer, 2011). Findings from studies across a range of chronic conditions (Brassington et al., 2016; Poppe, Crombez, Hanoulle, Vogelaers, & Petrovic, 2013; Van Damme, De Waegeneer, & Debruyne, 2016) suggest that more positive acceptance of illness facilitates improvements in patients overall quality of life (QoL). However, there is limited research addressing the role of acceptance of illness and the impact on dialysis patients. This thesis has evaluated the role of acceptance and associated psychological variables in haemodialysis patients to develop an understanding of the influence of acceptance and to enable the development of targeted acceptance-based interventions. This thesis aims to; gain an understanding of what acceptance means for dialysis patients; compare the influence of acceptance and associated psychological factors on patient outcomes, and examine the longitudinal relationships between acceptance and quality of life for dialysis patients. A mixed-methods approach was utilised and four methodologies were adopted; a systematic review evaluated the impact of acceptance on outcomes for patients with end-stage renal disease and how patients viewed acceptance in relation to these outcomes; cross-sectional studies compared the influence of acceptance, psychological and clinical variables on quality of life outcomes; a qualitative study explored patients experiences of accepting dialysis treatment, and a longitudinal study tested the impact of acceptance and psychological variables at 6 and 12 months post baseline. All participants were dialysis patients recruited from a single hospital site; a total of 102 participants were recruited. 98 were retained for analyses at baseline and 50 retained at 12 months. Ethical approval was obtained prior to the commencement of recruitment. The research generated several important findings. Firstly, it highlighted that acceptance in dialysis was complex, with qualitative findings indicating that acceptance of illness in dialysis patients related to themes of ‘accepting the necessity’, ‘accepting the functional aspects’, ‘acceptance from experience’ and ‘acceptance from support’. This resulted in the proposal of a conceptual model utilising acceptance mindset to address how patients reach acceptance and how they interpret their illness and treatment. Secondly, relationships between acceptance, psychological variables and QoL were identified; acceptance is a significant predictor of kidney disease QoL and physical QoL, with depression found to be a significant predictor for kidney disease QoL and mental QoL and was a significant mediator between acceptance and QoL. These findings demonstrate that acceptance is an important component of QoL in dialysis patients but also highlights the associations to other psychological variables. Theses associations in the cross-sectional study were confirmed longitudinally. Thirdly, tests of longitudinal associations demonstrated that although there were no significant changes in overall acceptance levels over time, group changes masked individual differences. The individual changes in acceptance were associated with changes in mental QoL and kidney disease QoL. Changes in acceptance rather than depression were predictive of mental QoL and kidney disease QoL at 6 months. At 12 months changes in acceptance and depression were important predictors of mental QoL and kidney disease QoL. The overall findings identified that acceptance of illness is an important aspect related to QoL for dialysis patients. Acceptance is a complex construct and relates to psychological factors, particularly depression. The qualitative analyses highlighted important areas related to acceptance and these were supported in the more complex analyses of QoL, these are areas that need considering in any future intervention developments. Although group acceptance did not change over time evidence at the individual level suggests that there may be benefit in targeting of interventions. Developing specific acceptance interventions targeted at dialysis patients may improve patients QoL and reduce the overall burden.