The role of personal attitudes of control and responsibility for the uptake of peritoneal dialysis- a national survey among dialysis patients

BMC Nephrol. 2021 Mar 24;22(1):107. doi: 10.1186/s12882-021-02303-3.


Background: Although most patients are suitable for both hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD), there seem to be differences in the outlook of patients who choose one modality over the other. There is currently limited literature about the impact of patients' personal attitudes on the decision for PD or HD. In this study, we tried to find out whether there were differences between patients who were on HD and PD in their desire for control and responsibility for their treatment.

Methods: The data were drawn from a nationwide postal survey of 630 HD and PD patients. Patients' desire for control was measured by scores on the internal locus of control (ILOC) scale. Patients were also asked how important taking responsibility for their dialysis had been for their treatment decision (ITR). Two multivariate logistic regression models, both adjusted for age, were applied to investigate whether there were differences between HD and PD patients in ILOC and ITR. Having one generic measure (ILOC) and one tailored to the dialysis context (ITR) gave the opportunity to investigate if it is a generic personality trait or rather a specific attitude that affects choice of dialysis modality.

Results: PD patients were younger and showed higher ILOC and ITR values. Multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for age confirmed the significant influence of ILOC and ITR on the uptake of PD. The odds ratios for being in the PD group were 1.53 for ILOC (p = 0.030; 95% CI 1.04-2.25), 1.49 for ITR (p = 0.019; 95% CI 1.07-2.07), and 0.95 (p = 0.000; 95% CI 0.94-0.97) for age in both models.

Conclusions: Our analysis shows the impact of personal attitudes on the uptake of PD. Participants who generally want to keep control of their lives and take responsibility for their dialysis treatment tended to choose PD. As PD is a home dialysis treatment that requires patients to participate and contribute, it is beneficial if patients' personalities support the treatment procedure. Having two completely different treatment options that suit to different personalities gives us the opportunity to consider the relationship between personal attitudes and choice of dialysis modality.

Trial registration: The MAU-PD study is registered at the German Clinical Trials Register.

Drks-id: DRKS00012555 . Date of Registration in DRKS: 2018/01/04.

Keywords: Character; Decision-making; Desire for control; End-stage renal disease (ESRD); Hemodialysis (HD); Peritoneal dialysis (PD); Personality; Renal replacement therapy; Treatment selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / psychology*
  • Personality*