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Title: “It wasn’t that great”: Challenges in Patient-Provider Communication after Kidney Transplant – a Qualitative Study
Authors: Dastgheib, M., Chahal, S., Markova, Y., Ho, M., Macanovic, S., Edwards, B., Mucsi, I.
Year: 2021
Conference: Canadian Society of Transplantation
Full Abstract* Background: Kidney transplantation is a life-altering treatment, but many patients experience physical or psychosocial symptoms post-transplant. Managing these symptoms requires effective communication between patients and healthcare providers (HCP). Yet, research shows that there are challenges in this area, and suboptimal communication may contribute to suboptimal assessment and management of symptoms. In this qualitative analysis, we explore patient experiences in communicating with their HCP after a kidney transplant.. Methods: We used Qualitative Description methodology to understand the quality of communication between recipients and HCP post-transplant. We utilized purposive sampling (flyers and snowball recruitment) (June2020-June2021). Semi-structured, in-depth, individual interviews were conducted over Microsoft Teams platform by a research associate and two students in Toronto. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Content analysis directed the iterative development of codes and categories. Results: Eight transplant recipients (5 males, ages 36-75, 1-15 years post-transplant) described a range of experiences, from regular contact with HCP to little perceived opportunity to communicate between appointments. Compared to pre-transplant care, communication was less frequent and recipients described feeling isolated and unsure how to seek information and support. They relied on searching for information online, visiting family doctors or the emergency room. Some connected with HCP over the phone, but this was not always timely nor efficient. Even those who described regular access to HCP felt that the focus was more on the physical and less on the psychosocial aspects of their health. Conclusion: Communication challenges between kidney transplant recipients and HCP contribute to feelings of isolation and difficulties navigating post-transplant life. Regular monitoring of patient-reported biopsychosocial outcomes, and tailoring communication to individual preferences may improve individualized care.
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