To explore how working-age adults experience patient participation in hospital haemodialysis.
End-stage kidney disease is a progressive, chronic condition imposing patients with high treatment burdens and low health-related quality of life. Patients face multiple medical decisions related to living with kidney failure. Given their frequent interaction with health services, patient participation may be of special value.
Qualitative design with a narrative approach.
In 2018, eleven patients aged 35-64 years undergoing hospital haemodialysis participated in individual interviews. All interviews were analysed using a narrative approach. Reporting followed the Consolidated criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research guidelines.
The patients’ narratives of participation comprised three themes following their healthcare trajectory: Informed, but not involved in treatment choices; Duality of care and control; and Frail trust reflecting collaborative deficiencies. The patients received good information about dialysis, but were not involved in choice of treatment modality. Professional work, as well as the nature of treatment, contributed to restricted patient autonomy. Patients’ trust suffered from collaborative deficiency generating delays in their treatment trajectories, and patients extended their responsibility into the coordination of transitions as a way of coping with these issues.
The study identified challenges related to patient involvement and interdisciplinary collaboration. Involving patients through dialogue and acknowledging their experiences, preferences and lifestyles, may strengthen the mutual patient-professional understanding of treatment. Despite increased focus on seamless trajectories, patients face obstacles regarding interdisciplinary collaboration and coordination of health services.
The findings indicate a want of individually customised care for people requiring dialysis. Patients need to be involved in the choice of treatment modality as well as decisions related to the current treatment. Information must include potential consequences of the different treatment modalities. Health services need to strengthen collaboration in order to secure treatment continuity and patient involvement.

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