Provider perspectives on chronic kidney disease diagnosis delivery

Clin Nephrol. 2018 Mar;89(3):205-213. doi: 10.5414/CN109153.


Aims: Lack of clear provider communication has been suggested as a reason for low patient awareness of their chronic kidney disease (CKD) diagnosis. Using quality improvement methods, we performed one-on-one provider interviews about CKD diagnosis delivery.

Materials and methods: Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and examined using mixed methods. We used thematic analysis to code and analyze transcripts, and Fisher's exact test to examine differences comparing nephrologist and primary care provider (PCP) perspectives.

Results: 24 providers completed interviews (18 nephrologists, 6 PCPs). Four themes emerged (N = 260 statements): 1) perspectives informing patients about CKD diagnosis (37 statements), 2) timing of diagnosis messaging (38 statements), 3) language used to convey diagnosis (42 statements), and 4) challenges in diagnosis delivery (143 statements). Most agreed that patients should be informed of their CKD (87.5%), but only 76% believed that communication should occur early. Terminology was not unified; half of nephrology providers used the term "Chronic Kidney Disease" to explain diagnosis. No PCPs used this terminology. Challenges to CKD diagnosis delivery included: Kidney disease is perceived as difficult to explain, lack of provider time, lack of patient symptoms, patient denial of disease, and low public awareness of CKD.

Conclusions: Providers' views on informing patients of their CKD diagnosis were not unified, in particular with respect to timing and terminology of diagnosis delivery. More work is needed to address barriers to efficiently and effectively convey CKD diagnosis information. .

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Time Factors
  • Truth Disclosure