New decision aid for kidney patients

Dialysis Decision Aid provides comprehensive information on different dialysis treatment options

A kidney dialysis decision aid, enabling patients with decreasing kidney function to better assess which treatment is right for them, has been developed by Kidney Research UK as part of a study in conjunction with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Researchers from the Sheffield Kidney Institute, which looks after patients with kidney failure in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, worked in collaboration with researchers and decision scientists from the University of Leeds as well as nurses, doctors and patients from NHS hospital trusts in Leeds, Doncaster, Bradford, York, Hull, and North Staffordshire to develop the new Dialysis Decision Aid.

The aid provides people who have, or know someone with, chronic kidney disease with comprehensive information on different dialysis treatment options.

During the Kidney Research UK-supported study, doctors, nurses, patients, carers and specialist nephrologists who specialise in the study of kidney problems and treatments were able to guide the development of the booklet, inputting into layout and content.

This resulted in the development of key features such as decision maps to help link information in the booklet with the decisions patients are making and tables describing all four dialysis options next to each other to help patients compare each treatment.

The Sheffield research was led by Dr Martin Wilkie, consultant nephrologist, who is based at the Sheffield Kidney Institute, the main renal unit at the Northern General Hospital.

He said: “We’re delighted that the Sheffield kidney research team, together with patients and carers, played a leading role in helping to shape the development of this key resource. The team developed and validated this booklet with the involvement of patients, carers and healthcare professionals and its layout and content has been very carefully planned with prompts to guide people through the booklet.

“There are a number of treatments available for patients with kidney failure, including transplantation or kidney dialysis. It is very important for individual patients to be involved in choosing the therapy that is best for them, so providing comprehensive and accessible information at a difficult and daunting time is vital.”

The booklet was developed through a Kidney Research UK-study by the Yorkshire Dialysis Decision Aid research team and run in collaboration with Baxter Healthcare, the British Renal Society and Renal Association.

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