Can you imagine facing your fear of needles three times every week?
There are 25,000 Australians living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD)*
ESKD is a life-long condition. Patients often experience high symptom burden and poor quality of life. If a kidney transplant is not an option, patients usually undergo dialysis multiple times per week, often for many years.
This is the reality for more than 10,000 people receiving haemodialysis for ESKD in Australia*. At least six large-bore needles per week are put in their arm – 312 needle insertions per year. Needles are approximately 3mm x 25-38mm, much larger than standard needles used for taking blood.
Needles are a way of life for Australians living with kidney disease; a part of life-saving treatment. But this is especially difficult for those with a fear of needles.
That’s what talented researcher, Associate Professor Shilpa Jesudason, wants to change, through the INJECT Study – a research program aimed to reduce the fear of needles.
The statistics around needle fear are devastating. Our research has shown 71% have difficulty with needles in the first six weeks of dialysis**, and nearly 40% have fear of needles***.
“INJECT will develop, trial and evaluate an intervention to measure and help patients manage needle fear and help nurses support patients. The project represents a major advance in addressing needle distress, empowering patients and providing support for self-management,”
Associate Professor Jesudason’s work is crucial for patients like Elias Iliopolous, a dialysis patient who deals with his needle fear every week.
*Source: ANZDATA Registry. 40th Report, Chapter 4: Haemodialysis. Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry, Adelaide, Australia. 2018
**Source: Hill K, Xu Q …Jesudason S. ‘Outcomes of arteriovenous fistulae in the first six weeks of use: A retrospective multicentre observational study. [Submitted]
***Source: Shanahan L, Le Leu R,…Jesudason S: Needle fear: A point prevalence survey of dialysis patients. Hemodialysis International 2019, 23: 285-286.