Perceptions of healthcare providers on benefits, risks and barriers regarding intradialytic exercise among haemodialysis patients

Aurel Zelko*, Ivana Skoumalova, Denisa Kravcova, Zuzana Dankulincova Veselska, Jaroslav Rosenberger, Andrea Madarasova Geckova, Jitse P van Dijk, Sijmen A Reijneveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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PURPOSE: Clinical guidelines call for the inclusion of exercise interventions in every patient's dialysis session, but these recommendations are rarely adopted. Healthcare providers play a key role in this. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore how healthcare providers perceive the benefits, risks and barriers of intradialytic exercise (IDE).

METHODS: We conducted 21 individual, semi-structured interviews with 11 nurses, 5 nephrologists, 3 training assistants and 2 managers from two dialysis centres in Slovakia. Verbatim transcripts of digitally recorded interviews were thematically analysed using MAXQDA®.

RESULTS: Participants reported the benefits of IDE as improvements in patients' physical and psychosocial functioning, independence and self-efficacy, clinical profile and quality of therapy. As risks of IDE, they most frequently reported exercise-related damage to vascular access, insufficient individualization of training and musculoskeletal injuries. The presence of psychological problems among patients was reported as a major barrier for initiating and maintaining patients' exercise. Other reported barriers included limitations in financial and personnel resources of haemodialysis care.

CONCLUSIONS: Safe and sustainable implementation of IDE, which might improve a patient's well-being, need to be prescribed in alignment with the patient's clinical profile, be delivered individually according to the patient's characteristics and requires adjustments in the available resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2287597
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of qualitative studies on health and well-Being
Issue number1
Early online date6-Dec-2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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