‘For the Blood is the Soul’: The Haemodialysis Experience

Tsipi Hanalis-Miller, Rebecca Jacoby, Mauro Rathaus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The diagnosis of End Stage Renal disease (ESRD) requires renal replacement therapy, dialysis or kidney transplant. Haemodialysis is the most common type of treatment for patients suffering from this disease. The disease and its treatments are associated with losses such as loss of health, independence and control. Added to this are further sources of stress, such as dependence on the haemodialysis machine and on the medical staff. While advanced medical technologies enable the extension of the lives of ESRD patients, the psychological implications of patientmachine interaction should be considered. In the few qualitative studies conducted in this field, the patients’ perception of the machine was presented as part of their general experience but has not been raised as a key issue. Due to the significance of the machine in patients’ lives, we thought it important to inquire as to patients’ perception of the machine. The present study examines the subjective experience of haemodialysis patients and the meaning of the haemodialysis machine in their lives. Twenty interviews with haemodialysis patients were conducted at the Meir Medical Center, Israel. Content analysis of the interviews produced four main themes: the Body, Society, the Machine and Coping Strategies. We found that the attitude of most interviewees towards the machine as a source of life, as well as a source of anguish, represented the dependent and conflictive relationship that is the core of the haemodialysis treatment experience. Understanding the haemodialysis treatment experience may help medical and psychological staff to mitigate the potential negative consequences of the dependent relationship between man and machine.1.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChronicity, Care and Complexity
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781848881907
ISBN (Print)9789004371927
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • End Stage Renal Disease
  • haemodialysis machine
  • qualitative research


Dive into the research topics of '‘For the Blood is the Soul’: The Haemodialysis Experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this