THURSDAY, June 22, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Peer support groups may be a patient-centered strategy to provide emotional support and camaraderie for undocumented immigrants with kidney failure, according to a study published online June 21 in JAMA Network Open.
Lilia Cervantes, M.D., from University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues assessed the feasibility and acceptability of a single-group peer support group intervention for undocumented immigrants with kidney failure receiving emergency dialysis.
The researchers reported that 18 of 23 participants attended a mean of six of 12 meetings. Three themes emerged from interviews and meetings: (1) Camaraderie and emotional support from peers is vital for people newly diagnosed with kidney failure to build relationships and share hardship with peers, and the hospital setting is ideal. (2) Solutions to improve care and resilience include self-advocacy, self-motivation and optimism; kidney disease education; emotional support from peers; and faith. And (3) receiving emergency dialysis is associated with psychosocial and physical distress, and patients have mixed experiences with language-concordant care and face emotional exhaustion from end-of-life conversations.
“Our results suggest that group peer support may be feasible and acceptable; it may also provide a patient-centered strategy to address the need for depression, anxiety, and social support services among patients with kidney failure, especially for socially marginalized, uninsured populations whose members report limited English proficiency,” the authors write.
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