The perspectives of patients on health-care for co-morbid diabetes and chronic kidney disease: A qualitative study

Clement Lo, Dragan Ilic, Helena Teede, Alan Cass, Greg Fulcher, Martin Gallagher, Greg Johnson, Peter G. Kerr, Tim Mathew, Kerry Murphy, Kevan Polkinghorne, Rowan Walker, Sophia Zoungas

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Background: Multi-morbidity due to diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains challenging for current health-systems, which focus on single diseases. As a first step toward health-care improvement, we explored the perspectives of patients and their carers on factors influencing the health-care of those with co-morbid diabetes and CKD. Methods: In this qualitative study participants with co-morbid diabetes and CKD were purposively recruited using maximal variation sampling from 4 major tertiary health-services from 2 of Australia's largest cities. Separate focus groups were conducted for patients with CKD stages 3, 4 and 5. Findings were triangulated with semi-structured interviews of carers of patients. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Results: Twelve focus groups with 58 participants and 8 semi-structured interviews of carers were conducted. Factors influencing health-care of co-morbid diabetes and CKD grouped into patient and health service level factors. Key patient level factors identified were patient selfmanagement, socio-economic situation, and adverse experiences related to co-morbid diabetes and CKD and its treatment. Key health service level factors were prevention and awareness of co-morbid diabetes and CKD, poor continuity and coordination of care, patient and carer empowerment, access and poor recognition of psychological co-morbidity. Health-service level factors varied according to CKD stage with poor continuity and coordination of care and patient and carer empowerment emphasized by participants with CKD stage 4 and 5, and access and poor recognition of psychological co-morbidity emphasised by participants with CKD stage 5 and carers. Conclusions: According to patients and their carers the health-care of co-morbid diabetes and CKD may be improved via a preventive, patient-centred health-care model which promotes self-management and that has good access, continuity and coordination of care and identifies and manages psychological morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0146615
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2016

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