Aims: To examine patients’ and families’ help-seeking intentions and actions when suspecting peritoneal dialysis-associated peritonitis. Design: A sequential explanatory mixed methods design was used, comprising a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Methods: A questionnaire was designed, piloted and used with patients and family members (n=75) using peritoneal dialysis from six hospital sites in Wales and England. Questionnaire data were analysed using descriptive statistics. A purposive sample of questionnaire participants (n=30) then took part in telephone or face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Interview data were analysed thematically. Data were collected between September 2017 and August 2018. Ethical and governance approvals were obtained; the study was reported on national research portfolios. Results: The quantitative data highlighted differences between participants’ knowledge of when they should seek help for suspected peritonitis and their actions when they subsequently experienced peritonitis. The interview data revealed the complexities involved with recognizing peritonitis, making the decision to seek help and accessing healthcare. Some participants struggled to recognize peritonitis when signs/symptoms started, leading to delays in deciding to seek help. Furthermore, some participants reported that they accessed help from renal or generic out-of-hours and were misadvised or misdiagnosed, delaying diagnosis and treatment. The data were integrated using conceptual analyses of help-seeking behaviour and access to healthcare, which informs understanding of the complexity of seeking help in this context. Conclusions: This study revealed differences between participants’ help-seeking intentions and actions. Using the conceptual analyses of help-seeking behaviour and access to healthcare informs understanding of the complexity of the help-seeking process in this context. To safely use a home therapy, it is imperative that individuals recognize signs/symptoms of peritonitis, seek help promptly and are appropriately supported when they access healthcare. Further work is needed to examine how these individual and system changes can be enacted.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Advanced Nursing|
|Early online date||13 Jul 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2021|