Cecilia Arechabala Mantuliz, María Isabel Catoni Salamanca, Eugenia Palma Castro, Fernanda Moyano Danus, Silvia Barrios Araya


This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study focused on identifying perceptions of chilean chronic hemodialysis patients in social support and the characteristics of social networks. An instrument developed by the authors was administered to 84 chronic hemodyalisis patients who had a median age of 62 years. 52% were women, 72,2% were retired and owned their own homes, and 59.5% had been receiving dialysis for two or more years. The majority (97.5%) lived with someone else, and of these 83.5% lived with relatives. Only 27.8% had paying jobs, and 59.5% declared that they had friends. Regarding how they perceived social support, 92.4% indicated that they could always count on their family support for any kind of problem. Of the patients who indicated that they had friends, only 55.7% perceived that they could count on their support, mainly in the form of emotional support. Although 48% indicated that they knew about institutions to aid renal patients, less than half indicated that they had requested aid from these institutions, mainly in the form of economic assistance. Most of them (73%) did not perceive that their disease was a burden for their relatives and 90% indicated that they always felt important for their family. The .ndings indicate that most of the study participants lived with relatives and feel accepted and understood by their family members. On the other hand, they did not perceive friendship nor institutions that aid renal patients as important sources of support.



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