Patient perspectives on the optimal start of renal replacement therapy.J Ren Care. 2017 Sep; 43(3):143-155.JR
Healthcare systems and providers are encouraged to prepare their patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) for a planned start to renal replacement therapies (RRT). Less well understood are the socioemotional experiences surrounding the optimal start of RRT versus suboptimal haemodialysis (HD) starts with a central catheter.
To characterise the experiences of patients beginning RRT.
Qualitative, semi-structured phone interviews.
A total of 168 patients with stage 5 CKD initiating RRT in an integrated, capitated learning healthcare system.
Qualitative data from patients were collected as part of a quality improvement initiative to better understand patient-reported themes concerning preparation for RRT, patients' perceptions of their transition to dialysis and why sub-optimal starts for RRT occur within our healthcare system. Dual review and verification was used to identify key phrases and themes within and across each domain, using both deductive a priori codes generated by the interview guide and grounded discovery of emergent themes.
From the patient perspective, preparing for RRT is an experience rooted in deep feelings of fear. In addition, a number of key factors contributed to patients' preparation (or failure to prepare) for RRT. While the education provided by our system was viewed as adequate overall, patients often felt that their emotional and psychosocial needs went unmet, regardless of whether or not, they experienced an optimal dialysis start.
Future efforts should incorporate additional strategies for helping patients with advanced CKD achieve emotional and psychological safety while preparing for RRT.