Perceptions of peritonitis risk, prevention, diagnosis and stigma: Findings from a mixed methods study with patients and relatives using peritoneal dialysis

Jessica Baillie*, Paul Gill, Molly Courtenay

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Peritonitis is the main treatment‐related complication of peritoneal dialysis and a primary concern for patients and their relatives. Therefore, understanding their perceptions of peritonitis is important. Objectives: To explore patients' and relatives' perceptions of peritoneal dialysis‐associated peritonitis risk, prevention measures and experiences of diagnosis, and experience of perceived stigma. Design: A sequential mixed methods study design was used, including a questionnaire and semi‐structured interviews. Participants: Patients using peritoneal dialysis and relatives (n = 75) from six National Health Service organisations from the United Kingdom. Measurements: A structured questionnaire was administered with patients and relatives (n = 75) using peritoneal dialysis; data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Thirty questionnaire respondents were then purposively sampled and interviewed in‐depth; data were analysed thematically. Data were collected 2017−2018. Ethical and governance approvals were gained. Results: Qualitative and quantitative analyses were integrated and three themes presented: • Perceptions of risk: participants assessed their risk of developing peritonitis and possible implications on their health and relatives. Participants felt greatly responsible for preventing infection. • Preventing peritonitis: participants reported similar and some differing measures to minimise their risk of developing peritonitis. Participants wanted to be seen as “clean”. • Diagnosis of peritonitis: peritonitis diagnosis was embarrassing and stigmatising for many individuals. This was influenced by the response of healthcare professionals and the cause of peritonitis. Conclusions: It is important that healthcare professionals are aware of how responsible patients and relatives feel about preventing peritonitis, the emotional effect of this responsibility and crucially the impact this may have on seeking help.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Renal Care
Early online date22 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2023

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