New Guide: How to Talk to Patients About Home Dialysis

from the Press Release issued by Rob Poehnelt, Marketing Communications Manager of Medical Education Institute, on May 23, 2022


Madison, Wisconsin — Talking about treatment options with patients whose kidneys have failed is a difficult conversation. Home Dialysis Central, a program of the non-profit MEI, has released a guide to help clinic staff discuss treatment options to make this challenging task easier and more effective—with four steps:

  1. Address the storm of emotions. Fear impedes our ability to learn new information. Until patients get past fear, it is impossible for them to learn.

  2. Offer hope for a good life. Help patients match the options to what matters most to them with the free, evidence-based, My Life, My Dialysis Choice decision aid.

  3. See if patients can do the option(s) they prefer. Use the MATCH-D to determine which options they can do, and to ensure that all are treated without implicit or explicit bias.

  4. Offer options education. A local class or online resources needs to be the last step before a choice—not the first step.

Dori Schatell, MS, MEI Executive Director, says using the right approach can ease the emotional burden for patients. “Virtually everyone is terrified when their kidneys fail—but fear-based choices may not fit patients’ values and lifestyles,” says Schatell. “This easy approach will help care teams support patients through this difficult time without having to be experts on every option. The outcome should be an increase in use of and retention for home therapies.”

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