Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Lachel Story and Dr. Shelia Davis

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson

Committee Member 3

Dr. Karen Lundy

Committee Member 3 School

Health Professions

Committee Member 4

Dr. Renee Williams


Chronic diseases pose a significant burden on the United States (U.S.) healthcare system (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], 2019). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that chronic diseases will affect an estimated 164 million Americans by the year 2025, which accounts for approximately half of the nation’s population (CDC, 2017). Nearly 90% of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual healthcare expenditures are for individuals with chronic and mental health conditions (Buttorff et al., 2017; CMS, 2017).

The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the lived experiences of adult African American males on hemodialysis as captured through photovoice. African American males particularly experience an unacceptable and disproportionate number of health disparities when compared with other racial and ethnic groups. Strong research efforts are warranted in trying to reverse the trajectory of this disparity.

Through the use of focus groups, qualitative information was sought to gain insight into the lives of adult African American males on hemodialysis. A homogenous, purposive sample of adult African American male participants (n = 4) was used in the study. Data were collected through three focus group sessions coupled with photovoice. The addition of photovoice provided a mechanism to analyze images that served to capture the essence of their experience. After data were analyzed, four themes emerged: (1) my kidney, (2) my lifeline, (3) my blueprint, and (4) my strength.