Research involving the University of Leicester has shown people who have chronic kidney disease (CKD) form pre-conceived beliefs about their illness which can impact their health.
Existing studies looking at CKD suggest that negative thoughts and feelings can contribute to the condition getting worse.
The study was funded by a research grant from Kidney Research UK. It was supported by the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU and carried out by the Leicester Kidney Exercise Team in collaboration with King's College London.
Miss Amy Clarke, a researcher in health and behavioural psychology at the University of Leicester Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation who carried out the narrative review, said: "The studies we looked at suggested that patients, even in the earlier stages of the disease, experience a number of negative illness perceptions which influence the way they cope with their condition."
Miss Clarke, who is also a faculty member of the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU, added: "The evidence suggests that understanding how patients feel about their condition should definitely not be underestimated and where possible we think working with patients to help them approach their illness more positively will have a huge impact on health outcomes."
More research is now required to determine more about how patients' beliefs may impact illness.
Kidney disease is a growing epidemic. There are around 3 million people in the UK who have CKD, but many of these people are not aware they have the condition.
This is because there are little or no symptoms until the disease is quite advanced.
The Leicester Kidney Exercise Team is a multidisciplinary research group based at Leicester General Hospital. They are dedicated to enhancing the health, wellbeing and quality of life of people with kidney disease through appropriate physical activity and exercise.
BRUs are focused on translational clinical research, taking new ideas from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside to improve health.
The Leicester-Loughborough BRU is a national centre of excellence in diet, lifestyle and physical activity. It harnesses the power of experimental science to explore and develop ways to help prevent and treat chronic disease.
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