Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious health condition with devastating impacts, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (respectfully referred as Indigenous hereafter) peoples. Aim: To describe Indigenous patients understanding of CKD and suggestions for providing information in a primary health care setting.
Method: Indigenous male and female patients with a diagnosis of CKD, attending an urban Indigenous primary health care service participated in semi-structured digitally recorded interviews. Each interview was transcribed and thematically analysed. The Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative studies (COREQ) guidelines were followed.
Results: Twenty male and female participants aged between 39 and 80 years described three themes related to health literacy: understanding of CKD mainly related to the blood tests and treatments; need for comprehensive information about kidney disease; and suggestions for providing information. Participants wanted to gain a more comprehensive understanding of CKD, including information on kidneys (what are they); implications of phrases like kidneys playing up; causes of CKD; relationship with other chronic conditions; greater understanding of the number obtained from blood tests. Some suggestions for providing person-centred information included asking patient the type of information needed; information to be provided in simple language and in format desired by patient.
Discussion: The study findings have highlighted the importance of provision of comprehensive information on all aspects of CKD. GPs play an essential part in ensuring that person-centred information about CKD is provided at diagnosis and with progression of CKD.
Implications for practice: The National Strategic Action Plan for Kidney Disease has emphasised the important role of GPs in management of CKD; importance of health literacy in management of CKD and training of primary care professionals. The descriptions from voices of consumers will increase GPs awareness of information needs of people with CKD and some strategies in meeting these needs.