Patient perspectives on peritoneal dialysis (PD) and the PD catheter: Strategies and Solutions

Perit Dial Int. 2023 May;43(3):231-240. doi: 10.1177/08968608231152063. Epub 2023 Mar 1.


Introduction: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter complications reduce quality of life and increase risks for hospitalizations, for unplanned transitions to haemodialysis and for death. Patient PD catheter management is crucial for safe, sustained PD. Patient perspectives on strategies for living with PD and using a PD catheter may inform efforts to reduce PD catheter complications, increase individual patient PD modality persistence, and thus increase overall home dialysis prevalence.

Methods: We interviewed 32 adult PD patients in Nashville, Tennessee. Qualitative analyses included (1) isolation of themes, (2) development of a coding system and (3) creation of a conceptual framework using an inductive-deductive approach.

Results: Challenges identified by patients as important included drain pain, difficulty eating and sleeping, and fear of peritonitis. Coping strategies included repositioning while draining, adjusting eating patterns, and development of PD patient and helper knowledge and confidence, especially at home after initial training. Patients described a trial-and-error iterative process of trying multiple strategies with input from multiple sources, which led to individualised solutions.

Conclusions: The trial-and-error process may be crucial for maintaining PD. Individual patient success with PD may be promoted by creating expectations during training that a solution may require multiple attempts, and by a reimbursement policy that supports robust nursing support for safe progression through the trial-and-error process, particularly in the first few months for incident patients. Interventions to support patient motivation and optimal coping behaviour may also support an increase in PD modality duration for individual patients, and thus increase overall PD prevalence.

Keywords: Qualitative; peritoneal dialysis; peritoneal dialysis catheter; peritonitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheters / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic* / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic* / therapy
  • Peritoneal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Peritonitis* / etiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects