An exploration of informal peer-support for dietary recommendations in haemodialysis

Andrew Morris, Deborah Lycett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People often seek feedback to compare aspects of their lives to others. For those undergoing haemodialysis, this may entail discussing dietary advice experiences with others to gain a sense of how well they are doing with their self-management skills. This informal peer-support may present opportunities and challenges for those undergoing haemodialysis. A total of 12 adults undergoing maintenance haemodialysis took part in semi-structured interviews which were transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis. The self-evaluation model of social comparison informed data analysis and interpretation. Two major themes are reported. The major themes were ‘Joining the kidney family’, which represented a sense of solidarity among patients and ‘Social comparison to peers.’ Two sub-themes made up the theme ‘Social comparison to peers’, these were ‘Got it sorted’ and ‘On rocky ground’ and represented upwards comparisons from a self-evaluation perspective and down wards comparisons for self-enhancement. People form social relationships within a haemodialysis unit which are used to obtain evaluations on dietary self-management skills by social comparison. Positive self-evaluations involved downward and upward comparisons around dietary recommendations. Informal peer-support around dietary advice for haemodialysis is variable in terms of the accuracy and helpfulness of the information provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S28-S35
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Kidney Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • diet
  • identity
  • social comparison
  • renal
  • peer


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