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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Abstract

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
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2016

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