Deakin University

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Stressors and coping resources of Australian kidney transplant recipients related to medication taking: a qualitative study

journal contribution
posted on 2017-06-01, 00:00 authored by Jac Kee Low, K Crawford, Elizabeth ManiasElizabeth Manias, A Williams
AIM: To understand the stressors related to life post-kidney transplantation, with a focus on medication adherence, and the coping resources people use to deal with these stressors. BACKGROUND: Although kidney transplantation offers enhanced quality and years of life for patients, the management of a kidney transplant post-surgery is a complex process. DESIGN: A descriptive exploratory study. METHOD: Participants were recruited from five kidney transplant units in Victoria, Australia. From March to May 2014, patients who had either maintained their kidney transplant for ≥ 8 months or had experienced a kidney graft loss due to medication non-adherence were interviewed. All audio-recordings of interviews were transcribed verbatim and underwent Ritchie and Spencer's framework analysis. RESULTS: Participants consisted of fifteen men and ten women aged 26 - 72 years old. All identified themes were categorised into: 1) Causes of distress and 2) Coping resources. Post-kidney transplantation, causes of distress included the regimented routine necessary for graft maintenance, and the everlasting fear of potential graft rejection, contracting infections and developing cancer. Coping resources utilised to manage the stressors were firstly, a shift in perspective about how easy it was to manage a kidney transplant than to be dialysis-dependent and secondly, receiving external help from fellow patients, family members and healthcare professionals in addition to utilising electronic reminders. CONCLUSION: An individual well-equipped with coping resources is able to deal with stressors better. It is recommended that changes, such as providing regular reminders about the lifestyle benefits of kidney transplantation, creating opportunities for patients to share their experiences and promoting the utilisation of a reminder alarm to take medications, will reduce the stress of managing a kidney transplant.



Journal of clinical nursing






1495 - 1507


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, The Authors