Exploring Adaptive Clothing Needs for Hemodialysis Patients
Type of Degreethesis
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Approximately 370,000 people in the United States are being treated with hemodialysis (U.S. Renal Data System [USRDS], 2011). While adaptive clothing is available for hemodialysis patients, no scholarly literature was found on the subject. The purpose of this study was to explore adaptive clothing needs for hemodialysis patients following Lamb and Kallal’s FEA (Functional, Expressive, Aesthetic) Model (1992). It was hypothesized that the following variables would have a positive influence on the purchase intention of adaptive clothing for hemodialysis: perceived functional attributes of vascular access (Hypothesis 1), perceived expressive attributes of increased privacy (Hypothesis 2a), perceived expressive attributes of integration with social norms (Hypothesis 2b), and accommodation of aesthetic needs of symmetry (Hypothesis 3). A questionnaire was completed by 83 hemodialysis patients. Results indicated that perceived vascular access and perceived integration with social norms had a significant influence on purchase intention; however, perceived privacy did not influence purchase intention for this group. Symmetry was not a significant factor in influencing purchase intention as most hemodialysis patients preferred the asymmetric garment. Additional findings revealed that a majority of participants indicated intent to purchase adaptive clothing, however only one participant was aware that it existed. Cost and low income levels may limit manufacturing and sales of adaptive clothing for hemodialysis patients. Guidelines for product development, marketing, and future research are included with the study.