Uncertainty, the Overbearing Lived Experience of the Elderly People Undergoing Hemodialysis: A Qualitative Study

Document Type: Original article


1 Iranian Research Center on Aging, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran;

2 Nursing Care Research Center, Department of Critical Care Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Nephrology, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran


Background: The chronic kidney disease is a major health concern. The number of the elderly people with chronic renal failure has increased across the world. Dialysis is an appropriate therapy for the elderly, but it involves certain challenges. The present paper reports uncertainty as part of the elderly experiences of living with hemodialysis.Methods: This qualitative study applied Max van Manen interpretative phenomenological analysis to explain and explore experiences of the elderly with hemodialysis. Given the study inclusion criteria, data were collected using in-depth unstructured interviews with nine elderly undergoing hemodialysis, and then analyzed according to Van Manen 6-stage methodological approach. Results: One of the most important findings emerging in the main study was “uncertainty”, which can be important and noteworthy, given other aspects of the elderly life (loneliness, despair, comorbidity of diseases, disability, and mental and psychosocial problems). Uncertainty about the future is the most psychological concerns of people undergoing hemodialysis.Conclusion: The results obtained are indicative of the importance of paying attention to a major aspect in the life of the elderly undergoing hemodialysis, uncertainty. A positive outlook can be created in the elderly through education and increased knowledge about the disease, treatment and complications.