Introduction: Guidelines on chronic kidney disease (CKD) recommend that nephrologists use clinical prediction models (CPMs). However, the actual use of CPMs seems limited in clinical practice. We conducted a national survey study to evaluate: 1) to what extent CPMs are used in Dutch CKD practice, 2) patients' and nephrologists' needs and preferences regarding predictions in CKD, and 3) determinants that may affect the adoption of CPMs in clinical practice.
Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with CKD patients to inform the development of two online surveys; one for CKD patients and one for nephrologists. Survey participants were recruited through the Dutch Kidney Patient Association and the Dutch Federation of Nephrology.
Results: A total of 126 patients and 50 nephrologists responded to the surveys. Most patients (89%) reported they had discussed predictions with their nephrologists. They most frequently discussed predictions regarded CKD progression: when they were expected to need kidney replacement therapy (KRT) (n = 81), and how rapidly their kidney function was expected to decline (n = 68). Half of the nephrologists (52%) reported to use CPMs in clinical practice, in particular CPMs predicting the risk of cardiovascular disease. Almost all nephrologists (98%) reported discussing expected CKD trajectories with their patients; even those that did not use CPMs (42%). The majority of patients (61%) and nephrologists (84%) chose a CPM predicting when patients would need KRT in the future as the most important prediction. However, a small portion of patients indicated they did not want to be informed on predictions regarding CKD progression at all (10-15%). Nephrologists not using CPMs (42%) reported they did not know CPMs they could use or felt that they had insufficient knowledge regarding CPMs. According to the nephrologists, the most important determinants for the adoption of CPMs in clinical practice were: 1) understandability for patients, 2) integration as standard of care, 3) the clinical relevance.
Conclusion: Even though the majority of patients in Dutch CKD practice reported discussing predictions with their nephrologists, CPMs are infrequently used for this purpose. Both patients and nephrologists considered a CPM predicting CKD progression most important to discuss. Increasing awareness about existing CPMs that predict CKD progression may result in increased adoption in clinical practice. When using CPMs regarding CKD progression, nephrologists should ask whether patients want to hear predictions beforehand, since individual patients' preferences vary.
Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Decision making; Patient outcomes; Prediction models.
© 2023. The Author(s).