Nephrologists’ Perspectives on Defining and Applying Patient-Centered Outcomes in Hemodialysis

Allison Tong, Wolfgang Winkelmayer, David Wheeler, Wim van Biesen, Peter Tugwell, Braden Manns, Brenda Hemmelgarn, Tess Harris, Sally Crowe, Angela Ju, Emma O'Lone, Nicole Evangelidis, Jonathan Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and objectives Patient centeredness is widely advocated as a cornerstone of health care, but it is yet to be fully realized, including in nephrology. Our study aims to describe nephrologists’ perspectives on defining and implementing patient-centered outcomes in hemodialysis. Design, setting, participants, & measurements Face-to-face, semistructured interviews were conducted with 58 nephrologists from 27 dialysis units across nine countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Singapore, and New Zealand. Transcripts were thematically analyzed. Results We identified five themes on defining and implementing patient-centered outcomes in hemodialysis: explicitly prioritized by patients (articulated preferences and goals, ascertaining treatment burden, defining hemodialysis success, distinguishing a physician-patient dichotomy, and supporting shared decision making), optimizing wellbeing (respecting patient choice, focusing on symptomology, perceptible and tangible, and judging relevance and consequence), comprehending extensive heterogeneity of clinical and quality of life outcomes (distilling diverse priorities, highly individualized, attempting to specify outcomes, and broadening context), clinically hamstrung (professional deficiency, uncertainty and complexity in measurement, beyond medical purview, specificity of care, mechanistic mindset [focused on biochemical targets and comorbidities], avoiding alarm, and paradoxical dilemma), and undermined by system pressures (adhering to overarching policies, misalignment with mandates, and resource constraints). Conclusions Improving patient-centered outcomes is regarded by nephrologists to encompass strategies that address patient goals and improve wellbeing and treatment burden in patients on hemodialysis. However, efforts are hampered by ambiguities about how to prioritize, measure, and manage the plethora of critical comorbidities and broader quality of life outcomes in a care setting that is technically demanding and driven by biochemical targets. Identifying critical patient–important outcomes and mechanisms for integrating them into practice may help to deliver patient-centered care in hemodialysis and other chronic disease settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-466
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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    Tong, A., Winkelmayer, W., Wheeler, D., van Biesen, W., Tugwell, P., Manns, B., Hemmelgarn, B., Harris, T., Crowe, S., Ju, A., O'Lone, E., Evangelidis, N., & Craig, J. (2017). Nephrologists’ Perspectives on Defining and Applying Patient-Centered Outcomes in Hemodialysis. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 12(3), 454-466. https://doi.org/10.2215/CJN.08370816