Background: The majority of studies addressing chronic kidney disease (CKD) have been quantitative. The lived experiences of patients with early stage CKD have not been explored in the literature. Due to the lack of symptoms during the early stages of CKD, the progress of this disease is often ignored. Purpose: This study explores the lived experiences of middle-aged males diagnosed with CKD. Research focuses on the work experiences, interpersonal relationships, and dietary habits of this group. Methods: This qualitative study used a narrative research method with purposive sampling. Ten middle-aged male patients were interviewed. We employed the 3 strategies of member checks, peer review, and debriefing in order to enhance the trustworthiness of the data analysis. Results: Four major themes were identified: (1) keeping the same life pace as usual with concerns of deterioration; (2) continuing to support their family and play the role of father; (3) hoping to participate in family and friend relationships despite the illness; and (4) being challenged to maintain a healthy diet. Conclusions / Implications for Practice: Although the physical status of participants was similar to the general middle-aged adult population, participants were concerned regarding disease deterioration. The results of this study suggest that health professionals: (1) provide appropriate information based on patients' personality, particularly at the first onset or apparent deterioration of the disease; (2) offer specialized healthcare information to patients relevant to their career choices; and (3) understand CKD-patient difficulties in daily life such as eating out habits and challenges faced in maintaining a healthy diet. Results may provide important information to healthcare providers in education planning and implementation and support programs for patients and families.
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