Living in limbo while one’s identity is changing: patients’ existential experiences six months after a kidney transplantation with a living donor

Ingrid Villadsen Kristensen, Regner Birkelund, Jette Hellegaard Henriksen, Annelise Norlyk

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To investigate patients’ existential experiences in everyday life after a kidney transplantation with a living donor.
Design: A qualitative study anchored in a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach inspired by Ricoeur's theory of narrative and interpretation.
Method: Eleven patient interviews were conducted approximately 6 months after a kidney transplantation with a living donor. The interviews were conducted between August 2017–May 2019. Analysis and interpretation are based on Ricoeur's theory of interpretation.
Results: Four themes were identified: Experiencing bodily vulnerability while getting back to life; Feeling guilt while experiencing gratitude; Living in limbo while one's identity is changing; and Facing the future with hope while having reservations.
Conclusion: This study reveals that patients experience multifaceted existential challenges in their everyday lives during the transition of the kidney transplantation process. Post-surgery complications for donors lead to feelings of guilt in patients; plus, they must adapt to a new existence, including a new identity. The patients feel they are in limbo, as they experience their existence as uncertain and their identity as unknown.
Impact: The study highlights a need for developing a rehabilitation programme to address the individual and various existential challenges faced by patients who need to undergo a kidney transplantation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Volume77
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1403-1410
Number of pages8
ISSN0309-2402
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • disease, health science and nursing
  • identity
  • kidney transplantation
  • living donor

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Living in limbo while one’s identity is changing: patients’ existential experiences six months after a kidney transplantation with a living donor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this