Background: Recent studies on hemodialysis patients have focused more on the suffering caused by physical and psychological problems in them, and they have paid less attention to their caregivers. Since the caregivers of these patients are intensively affected by the physical and psychological problems caused by this method of treatment, it is necessary to pay more attention to the challenges as well as the problems that exist among them. This study aimed to describe the lived experiences of caregivers in caring for hemodialysis patients.
Methods: The present study is a qualitative study with a phenomenological design. Sampling was first done through a purposive sampling method, and the snowball sampling method was then applied in order to select 21 caregivers for the hemodialysis patients from three hemodialysis centers in Qazvin, Iran. An audio recorder were used to collect the data of in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analyzed using Colaizzi's approach. The criteria of Lincoln and Guba was followed for trustworthiness.
Results: Analysis of the interviews in response to the main question revealed 108 initial codes, 18 subcategories, and 3 main themes, including 1. Care: Growth experience, 2. Care: Living in solitary confinement, and 3. In silence: Seeking help.
Conclusion: In situations where the caregivers of hemodialysis patients felt they did not have sufficient material and spiritual support from those around them, they reported two different and conflicted experiences. Some people experienced progress and excellence, while others felt stuck and had to make ideal sacrifices. More in-depth research is required to discover the factors that influence such diverse insights.