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The emotional experience of American Indians receiving hemodialysis and how it relates to treatment adherence

Anitra M Warrior, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study used a phenomenological approach as an attempt to capture the essence of the experience of American Indians with diabetes who are receiving dialysis. The purpose of this study and this approach was to develop an understanding of factors that influence treatment adherence, specifically with mental health concerns. As an additional component of this study, this research also followed an advocacy/participatory approach (Creswell, 2007) in which steps to reform services are provided to the Indian Health Service in support of this marginalized group through a written Agenda for Change. Participants for this study were recruited from multiple states serving American Indians through the Indian Health Service. These sites were specifically located within the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Fliers were posted at dialysis clinics, post offices, general stores and community centers in which there where high American Indian populations. Participants initiated contact and were screened for meeting criteria to participate in the study. Once the participants were identified as meeting criteria for participation, and interview was scheduled at a convenient location chosen by the participant. This particular approach as described by Moustakas (1994) requires a minimum of three participants. In an effort to obtain a representative sample, the goal was to obtain 10 participants. After three months with fliers posted in multiple locations, the recruitment concluded with six participants (three women and three men). Participants were compensated with a $20.00 visa gift card upon completion of the interview. Member-checking took place by reviewing the findings with participants therefore, assuring the analyses and interpretations were accurately described. Additionally, the Agenda for Change also needed to accurately reflect the challenges faced by the participants and appropriately provide suggestions for assisting dialysis patients with adherence to the treatment regimen. The experience described by the participants was utilized to recommend a change in processes for dialysis patients in an effort to assist with acceptance for individuals and families as they adjust to the lifetime commitment and changes required by dialysis treatments.

Subject Area

Health sciences|Counseling Psychology|Native American studies

Recommended Citation

Warrior, Anitra M, "The emotional experience of American Indians receiving hemodialysis and how it relates to treatment adherence" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3714333.