“What matters to you?”: The relevance of patient priorities in dialysis care for assessment and clinical practice

Judith Tommel*, Andrea W.M. Evers, Henk W. van Hamersvelt, Rien Jordens, Sandra van Dijk, Luuk B. Hilbrands, Marc M.H. Hermans, Daan A.M.J. Hollander, Marc A.G.J. ten Dam, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Background: Dialysis patients are confronted with numerous, complex problems, which make it difficult to identify individual patient's most prominent problems. The objectives of this study were to (1) identify dialysis patients' most prominent problems from a patient perspective and (2) to calculate disease-specific norms for questionnaires measuring these problems. Methods: One hundred seventy-five patients treated with hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis completed a priority list on several domains of functioning (e.g., physical health, mental health, social functioning, and daily activities) and a set of matching questionnaires assessing patient functioning on these domains. Patient priorities were assessed by calculating the importance ranking of each domain on the priority list. Subsequently, disease-specific norm scores were calculated for all questionnaires, both for the overall sample and stratified by patient characteristics. Results: Fatigue was listed as patients' most prominent problem. Priorities differed between male and female patients, younger and older patients, and home and center dialysis patients, which was also reflected in their scores on the corresponding domains of functioning. Therefore, next to general norm scores, we calculated corrections to the general norms to take account of patient characteristics (i.e., sex, age, and dialysis type). Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of having attention for the specific priorities and needs of each individual patient. Adequate disease-specific, norm-based assessment is not only necessary for diagnostic procedures but is an essential element of patient-centered care: It will help to better understand and respect individual patient needs and tailor treatment accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Dialysis
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


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