The Impact of Peritoneal Dialysis on the Family Life of Children with Chronic Kidney Disease

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 8:30 AM

Maria Lurdes Lomba, PhD, MSc, RN
Pediatric Nursing, Coimbra Nursing School, Coimbra, Portugal
Alexandra Lameirinhas, RN
Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley, England
Ana Margarida Silva, RN
no affiliation, Coimbra, Portugal
Juliana Brito, RN
No affiliation, Coimbra, Portugal

Background: Children with chronic kidney disease and their families have to deal, on a daily basis, with various medical procedures and a life of uncertainty. Renal replacement therapy with dialysis and kidney transplantation made survival possible, but caring for these children is complex, with a great impact on family’s well-being and life quality.

Aim: Identifying the difficulties felt by the parents/care providers, while taking care of the child on peritoneal dialysis, and the strategies adopted by nurses to minimize these difficulties.

Method/design: Systematic review of literature without meta-analysis study carried through an on-line literature research from different search engines and databases. 7 articles were selected to build up the research sample: 5 from MEDLINE with Full Text and 2 from CINHAL Plus with Full Text.

Results: The family dynamics is negatively affected by the changes imposed from the disease. Parents and particularly the mothers are the main care providers for these children and the greatest difficulties mentioned are maintaining a steady employment and the financial constraints regarding the unemployment status and the increased costs of looking after a peritoneal dialysis dependent child.  Although none of these articles focus on results from the implementation of specific nurse interventions, they suggest that the nurse’s role is to identify the family’s main difficulties,  to facilitate the adaptation process and to develop interventions that promote the family’s biological, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

Conclusion: Taking care of a child on peritoneal dialysis affects adversely the family unit, specially the main care provider. The changes imposed are significant and require constant adaptations on the daily routines. It is highlight the significance of the nurse’s role on supporting and promoting these families well-being but further studies shall be developed to measure the efficacy of the suggested nursing interventions.