Exploring post-transplant life in kidney transplant recipients taking immunosuppressive medication: A phenomenological study

Tae Yang Kim, Eun Young Kim, Sung Ok Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adherence to immunosuppressive medication therapy is essential for long-term survival of kidney transplant recipients. This has major implications on quality of life. Aim: We aimed to identify the nature of the experience of taking immunosuppressive medication and its implications on kidney transplant recipients. Methods: The study used a descriptive phenomenological design, applying Giorgi's phenomenological method. In-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from 10 kidney transplant recipients. Giorgi's four-step method was used to analyse the data. Findings: The structure of the kidney transplant recipients' experiences of immunosuppressive medication were classified into four themes: “reformulating to the condition,” “resetting one's framework for living in a changed world,” “tuning to prevent becoming unbalanced,” and “voluntary restraint for normalising one's new life,” which can be further divided into 11 subconstituents. Discussion: As compared to previous studies, our study was novel as it had a patient-centred point of view and focused on the lives of participants after starting immunosuppressants. We found that these patients sought stability and normality in their lives and viewed adherence to pharmacotherapy as a prerequisite to life. Our results may be used by nurses and healthcare providers as data to understand the perspective of patients taking immunosuppressants after kidney transplantation. Conclusion: This study provides a new perspective on the nature of patient experiences with immunosuppressive medication, instead of views on compliance and noncompliance. It also provides basic data for research to improve the quality of life and adaptation of kidney transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No funding has been supported.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Immunosuppressive agents
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Medication adherence
  • Nursing
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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