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Title: Influence of spirituality on health outcomes and general well-being in patients with end-stage renal disease
Author: Alshraifeen, Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 1528
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2015
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End-stage renal disease (ESRD) introduces physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual challenges into patients’ lives. Spirituality has been found to contribute to improved health outcomes, mainly in the areas of quality of life (QOL) and well-being. No studies exist to explore the influences of spirituality on the health outcomes and general well-being in patients with end-stage renal disease receiving haemodialysis (HD) treatment in Scotland. This study was therefore carried out to examine and explore spirituality in the day-to-day lives of patients with ESRD receiving HD treatment and how it may influence their health outcomes and, in particular, QOL and general well-being. The study described in this thesis employed a sequential mixed method approach over two stages: quantitative and qualitative. Following ethical approval, a cross-sectional survey was conducted with 72 patients from 11 dialysis units recruited from four Health Boards in Scotland. The participants in the study were regular patients attending the dialysis units three times per week. Data on patients’ quality of life, general well-being, and spirituality were collected using self-administered questionnaires including demographic information: the Short Form Medical Outcome Study Questionnaire (SF-36v2), the General Health Questionnaire, and the Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire. The data were analysed using the Predictive Analytics Software for Windows. The findings highlighted that patients’ quality of life was markedly lower than the United Kingdom general population average norms of 50. Increasing age was associated with better mental health but worse physical health. The survey also found that there were no significant associations between spirituality and patients’ quality of life and general well-being. However, it was considered important to complement and enrich the survey findings by gaining a deeper understanding of the influences of spirituality on patients’ health outcomes and general well-being by carrying out the qualitative component of the study. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with a subsample of 21 patients from those who participated in the survey. A thematic approach using Framework Analysis informed the qualitative data analysis. Four main themes emerged from the qualitative interviews: ‘Emotional and Psychological Turmoil’, ‘Life is Restricted’, ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Other Coping Strategies’. The findings from the interviews confirmed that patients’ quality of life might be affected because of the physical challenges such as unremitting fatigue, disease unpredictability, or being tied down to a dialysis machine, or the emotional and psychological challenges imposed by the disease into their lives such as wholesale changes, dialysis as a forced choice and having a sense of indebtedness. The findings also revealed that spirituality was an important coping strategy for the majority of participants who took part in the qualitative component (n=16). Different meanings of spirituality were identified including connection with God or Supernatural Being, connection with the self, others and nature/environment. Spirituality encouraged participants to accept their disease and offered them a sense of protection, instilled hope in them and helped them to maintain a positive attitude to carry on with their daily lives, which may have had a positive influence on their health outcomes and general well-being. The findings also revealed that humour was another coping strategy that helped to diffuse stress and anxiety for some participants and encouraged them to carry on with their lives. The findings from this study contribute knowledge to increase our understanding of the influence of spirituality on the health outcomes and general well-being of patients with end-stage renal disease currently receiving haemodialysis treatment. Based on the findings from this thesis, recommendations are made for clinical practice, patient and nurse education and for future research.
Supervisor: Evans, Josie; McCreaddie, May Sponsor: University of Stirling ; Hashemite University, Jordan
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Spirituality ; end-stage renal disease ; quality of life ; health outcomes ; general well-being ; Scotland ; Chronic renal failure ; Chronic renal failure--Patients ; Services for ; Terminal care