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The role of religion and spirituality in coping with kidney disease and haemodialysis in Thailand
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-01, 00:00 authored by K Yodchai, Patricia Dunning, Sally Savage, Alison HutchinsonAlison Hutchinson
BACKGROUND: People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) face various problems including psychological, socioeconomic and physical effects associated with CKD and its treatment. They need to develop strategies to help them cope with CKD and life challenges. Religion and spirituality are important coping strategies, but their role in helping people cope with CKD and haemodialysis (HD) in Thailand is relatively unknown. AIMS: To investigate the role of religion and spirituality in coping with CKD and its treatment in Thailand. DESIGN: An exploratory, qualitative approach was undertaken using semistructured individual interviews. METHOD: Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants. Face-to-face, in-depth individual interviews using open questions were conducted during January and February 2012. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using the framework method of qualitative data analysis. FINDINGS: Twenty people receiving HD participated: age range 23-77 years, mean 53.7 (±16.38 SD). Ten were women. Participants reported use of religious and spiritual practices to cope with CKD and its treatment, including religious and spiritual explanations for developing CKD, karmic disease, making merit, reading Dharma books, praying and chanting to save life and making a vow to Pran-Boon. CONCLUSION: Religion and spirituality provide powerful coping strategies that can help Thai people with CKD overcome the associated distress and difficulties. Religion and spirituality cannot be separated in Thai culture because Thai people are both religious and spiritual.