The percentage of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) maintained on chronic peritoneal dialysis (CPD) in the United States remains well less than the percentage in several other countries. Furthermore, there has recently been a decline in the percentage of patients with ESRD in the United States undergoing CPD. The reasons for this decline are uncertain, and investigators have implicated problems with the kinetics of peritoneal dialysis, peritonitis and exit-site infections, and psychosocial stresses imposed by the therapy. Few studies, however, have considered the role of the dialysis facility itself and patient perceptions of the facility as contributing to problems with the long-term acceptance of CPD. This study is designed to examine patients' perceptions of the organization and structure of the peritoneal dialysis facility and their interactions with the facility, focusing attention on areas of patient satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the facility. The study was conducted in a large, freestanding peritoneal dialysis program in an urban area that currently treats 140 patients undergoing CPD. Thirty patients were randomly selected to participate in the present study. A structured interview that included open-ended questions was administered and tape-recorded by a trained interviewer not affiliated with the dialysis unit. Patient responses were then reviewed by two investigators, and a taxonomy of patient satisfaction and dissatisfaction was developed, using a modification of the classification proposed by Concato and Feinstein. Patient responses were then categorized according to the taxonomy. The most frequently cited areas of patient satisfaction included the amount of information and instruction provided by the staff (n = 30), personal atmosphere of the facility (n = 30), efficiency of delivery of the dialysis supplies (n = 23), and availability of the primary nurse (n = 18). The importance of the nurse-patient interaction was emphasized by all 30 patients, whereas the physician-patient interaction was cited by only 14 patients. The most frequently cited area of dissatisfaction noted by all 30 patients concerned the dialysis regimen itself. The present study focuses attention on patient perceptions of their CPD facility, identifying areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The analysis is important not only in providing a framework for CPD facilities with which to review their own interactions with CPD patients, but also for identifying those areas that require attention to maintain the long-term viability of CPD therapy.