Background and Significance
Self-care for kidney transplantation is recommended to maintain kidney function. Little is known about levels of self-care practices, and demographic, psychosocial, and health-related correlates.
We investigated patients’ self-reported exercise and fluid intake, demographic and psychosocial factors associated with these self-care practices, and health-related quality of life.
Eighty-eight of 158 kidney recipients from two academic medical centers completed a semi-structured interview and surveys 2 months post-transplant.
Most patients were sedentary (76%) with a quarter exercising either regularly (11%) or not at current recommendations (13%). One third (35%) reported drinking the recommended three liters of fluid daily. Multivariate analyses indicated that private insurance, high self-efficacy, and better physical functioning were significantly associated with engaging in physical activity (p<0.05); while male gender, private insurance, high self-efficacy, and not attributing oneself responsible for transplant success were significant predictors of adherence to fluid intake (p<0.05). Despite the significance of these predictors, models for physical activity and fluid intake explained 10–15% of the overall variance in these behaviors. Multivariate analyses indicated that younger age, high value of exercise, and higher social functioning significantly (p<0.05) predicted high self-efficacy for physical activity, while being married significantly (p<0.05) predicted high self-efficacy for fluid intake.
Identifying patients at risk of inadequate self-care practice is essential for educating patients about the importance of self-care.
Keywords: Kidney transplantation, physical activity, exercise, oral rehydration, self-care, self-management, self-efficacy, self-regulation theory, health-related quality of life