An exploration of the choices of patients with chronic kidney disease.
Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive loss of renal function over a period of time. It is common, often unrecognized, and frequently coexists with other conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There has been little research undertaken into treatment options and decision-making processes of CKD patients in general.Objectives: To determine the treatment options that CKD patients are offered and their views and experiences with regard to these choices.Design: A survey design was adopted.Participants: Participants included patients who had CKD at the time of the study and who were on renal dialysis.Results: A wide range of findings emerged from the study. Key findings showed that the majority of patients felt that written information was the main source of information, but that almost one-quarter of patients felt that they did not receive enough information about dialysis to allow them to make an informed choice. Almost one-fifth of participants did not consider that they had been strongly encouraged by health professionals to be independent with regard to their choice of dialysis.Conclusion: While the majority of patients feel fully informed and involved in the decision-making processes around treatment and management of their CKD, not all patients receive sufficient information to make an informed choice about their treatment and that treatment options are not always presented to patients and their families to enable them to make a fully informed choice.