Purpose: To determine the factors influencing the behavior of patients with kidney stones in the prevention of recurrent stones.
Materials and Methods: Patients with stones from an academic and a community practice were recruited for key informant interviews and focus groups. Groups were guided based on the framework of the health belief model. Content analysis was done on transcriptions using qualitative data analysis software.
Results: Key informant interviews were completed with 16 patients and with a total of 29 subjects in 5 focus groups. Content analysis revealed that patients were highly motivated to prevent stones. The minimum level of perceived benefit for adopting the behavior change varied among patients and the behaviors proposed. An important strategy to increase fluid intake was insuring availability with containers. Patients were more consistently confident in the ability to increase fluid, in contrast to ingesting medicine or changing the diet. While barriers to increasing fluid were multifactorial among individuals, the barriers aligned into 3 progressive stages that were associated with distinct patient characteristics. Stage 1 barriers included not knowing the benefits of fluid or not remembering to drink. Stage 2 barriers included disliking the taste of water, lack of thirst and lack of availability. Stage 3 barriers included the need to void frequently and related workplace disruptions.
Conclusions: Patients with kidney stones are highly motivated to prevent recurrence and were more amenable to fluid intake change than to another dietary or pharmaceutical intervention. Barriers preventing fluid intake success aligned into 3 progressive stages. Tailoring fluid intake counseling based on patient stage may improve fluid intake behavior.