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Burden of Chronic Kidney Disease of Uncertain Etiology on Families of Patients and Their Coping Behaviour in Two Farming Communities in Sri Lanka


Chandani Liyanage


Present paper analyses disease burden of two decades-old CKDu on patients’ family, their coping strategies and the repercussions of those strategies. CKDu literature in Sri Lanka discloses that there is quite a large number of studies which attempted to determine unknown etiology of the disease. Findings of those studies reveal that no concrete conclusions with regard to the etiology of CKD, instead a number of hypothesis were developed with contradictory arguments. Since there is no sufficient knowledge to comprehend the impact of growing health hazard on affected people, an empirical study was carried out with the purpose of exploring disease burden of CKDu on patients and their families. Medawachchiya and Padaviya DS Divisions were selected to assess impact of longstanding disease as it was initially identified in these two locations in the late 1990s. Mixed-method approach was adopted in the study and the findings reveal that majority of patients were diagnosed as CKDu at acute stage and they were at productive age in their life-span. Majority of patients were reported their identity as sick/elderly and their family has to bear a heavy burden of CKDu. Both formal and informal social support systems were insufficient for affected communities. Family as the most significant entity attempts to minimize psychosocial and economic burden of CKDu while bearing low productivity of ill-member due to illness, by allocating its resources, both human and material, to manage the ill-health and the emotional and social cost of illness on family. Patients’ family adopts both problem-solving and emotional-focused coping strategies to combat the crisis situation that leads adverse effects on the wellbeing of family members. Findings suggest that patients’ family demands positive coping options including more information with regard to illness, educating them to properly manage the illness, access to professional psychosocial counseling and essential support services. In conclusion, the paper highlights number of issues that policy makers, planers and service providers need to take into consideration in order to mitigate adverse effects of emerging health hazard and to improve wellbeing of the family of patients.

Keywords: CKDu, patients’ family, coping strategies, psychosocial counseling

General Information

ISSN: 2279-3933
Frequency: Quartely
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Upali Pannilage

Executive Editor: Dr. S Wijeratne

                              Mr. Renuka Priyantha                               Dr. HIGC Kumara

                              Mr. MMRKM Bandara

                              Mr. Samitha Udayanga

                              Dr. KH Ramanayaka

                              Mr. IDKL Fernando

Abstracting/ Indexing: Google Scholar
E-mail: jsshr@hss.ruh.ac.lk