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Challenges to Shared Decision Making About Treatment of Advanced CKD: A Qualitative Study of Patients and Clinicians.

House TR, Wightman A, Rosenberg AR, Sayre G, Abdel-Kader K, Wong SPY. Challenges to Shared Decision Making About Treatment of Advanced CKD: A Qualitative Study of Patients and Clinicians. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation. 2021 Oct 19.

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RATIONALE and OBJECTIVE: Greater understanding of the challenges to shared decision making about treatment of advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) is needed to support implementation of shared decision making in clinical practice. STUDY DESIGN: Qualitative study. SETTING and PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged = 65 years with advanced CKD and their clinicians recruited from 3 medical centers participated in semi-structured interviews. In-depth review of patients' electronic medical records was also performed. ANALYTICAL APPROACH: Interview transcripts and medical record notes were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients (age 73±6 years, 66% male, 59% White) and 10 of their clinicians (age 52±12 years, 30% male, 70% White) participated in interviews. Four themes emerged from qualitative analysis: (1) competing priorities-patients and their clinicians tended to differ on when to prioritize CKD and dialysis planning above other personal or medical problems; (2) focusing on present or future-patients were more focused on living well now while clinicians were more focused on preparing for dialysis and future adverse events; (3) standardized versus individualized approach to CKD-although clinicians tried to personalize care recommendations to their patients, the patients perceived their clinicians as taking a monolithic approach to CKD that was predicated on clinical practice guidelines and medical literature rather than the patients' lived experiences with CKD and personal values and goals; and (4) power dynamics-patients described cautiously navigating a power differential in their therapeutic relationship with their clinicians whereas clinicians seemed less attuned to these power dynamics. LIMITATIONS: Thematic saturation was based on patient interviews. Themes presented might incompletely reflect clinicians' perspectives. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to improve shared decision making for treatment of advanced CKD will likely need to explicitly address differences between patients and their clinicians in approaches to decision making about treatment of advanced CKD and perceived power imbalances in the therapeutic relationship.

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