Background: Hemodialysis (HD) which is the most common treatment method for End-Stage Renal Failure (ESRF) patients is the process of purifying the patient’s blood from liquid and metabolic wastes through hemodialysis machine and giving it back to the patient. In Turkey where the number of ESRF patients shows a dramatic increase; according to the 2016 records of Turkish Society of Nephrology, 52.675 out of 66.711 ESRF patients receive hemodialysis treatment. In addition to the individuals who receive HD treatment, their relatives also participate in the treatment and care process and share these problems with their patients. HD treatment has been defined as a family disease. One of the family members of those who receive HD treatment acts as the dialysis partner in this process and is considered as the individual’s primary care-giver. In the circumstances, those who are mostly affected by dialysis other than the patients receiving HD treatment may be primary care-givers. Therefore, knowing the care burdens of caregivers of the patients has a great importance in maintaining the patient’s health and planning treatment and care process and nursing services.
Materials & Methods: The data of the study designed as descriptive in order to determine the care burden of the caregivers of patients receiving the hemodialysis (HD) treatment and the associated factors were collected in the in haemodialysis units of hospitals in Erzurum, eastern Turkey between 01.01.2017 and 01.03.2018. The population of the study consisted of primer caregiver relatives of the patients receiving dialysis treatment in the hemodialysis unit of the related hospital between the study dates. The sample of the study included the caregivers who were 18 years old and over, were primary school graduate, had the patients receiving HD treatment for at least 6 months, and agreed to participate in the study.
The data were collected by using “Caregiver Information Form” developed by the researcher upon literature review and “Burden Interview”, whose validity and reliability study was conducted in Turkey. In the study, the data were collected by the researcher using the face-to-face interview method with the caregivers. It took averagely 30-40 minutes to conduct the interviews at waiting rooms of the units with patient relatives during HD treatment of the patients. The data obtained from the study were evaluated by using SPSS program in the computer environment. In the analysis of the data, percentage frequency distributions, Kruskall Wallis, and Mann Whitney U test were used.
Results: As a result of the study, it was determined that 60.9% of the patients included in the study were male, 58% were 60 years old and over, 94.2% were married, 30.4% were primary school graduates, and 39.1% were retired. When the socio-demographic characteristics of the caregivers were examined, 72.5% were female, 29% were in the age group of 40-49 years, 87% were married, 66.7% were primary school graduates, and 69.5% were housewife. It was determined that the mean scores obtained by the caregivers from the burden interview were 44.85±11.31.
Conclusions: Study showed that caregivers of HD patients had medium-level caregiver burden. To conclude, chronic diseases affect not only patients, but also their relatives who care for them. Knowing the care burdens of caregivers of the patients has a great importance in maintaining the patient’s health and planning treatment and care process and nursing services. It is hoped that this study will guide nursing care in this direction.
Mehtap KAVURMACI finished PhD in Nursing from Ataturk University in the field of Internal Medicine in 2012. She received the title of Assistant Professor in the same year. She has conducted research on subject such as aromatherapy, nefrology, complementary treatment. Currently, Ataturk University, Faculty of Nursing is Associate Professor.