To explore the experience of patients with chronic kidney disease with regard to adopting a low-protein diet.
Chronic kidney disease is a serious and increasingly prevalent global health problem. A low-protein diet helps delay the progression of the disease and decreases associated complications. However, many patients with chronic kidney disease have difficulties adhering to a low-protein diet, even after several consultations.
A phenomenological study.
This study used a phenomenological inquiry based on Colaizzi’s phenomenological analysis. Participants with chronic kidney disease were recruited from a nephrology unit at a local district hospital in southern Taiwan.
Fifteen Taiwanese adults with stages 3b-5 chronic kidney disease participated in this study. More than half (53%) were men, the mean age was 57 years, and the mean duration of chronic kidney disease was nine (range, 2-19) years. Most participants reported that the diet education they received from health care providers was inconsistent and confusing. Four themes emerged from participant experiences: confusion about eating restrictions, struggling with the daily diet, concerns about quality of life and mortality, and a fresh look at life and motivation to adhere to the low-protein diet. With diet management, these participants had maintained their minimum kidney function for many years.
This study highlights the substantial problems faced by chronic kidney disease patients while self-managing a low-protein diet. Also, we found some tips to manage the patients’ diet which all professional health practitioners could learn from them.