Journal Article

Attitudes of Canadian nephrologists, family physicians and patients with kidney failure toward primary care delivery for chronic dialysis patients

Deborah L. Zimmerman, Avrum Selick, Rajinder Singh and David C. Mendelssohn

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 18, issue 2, pages 305-309
Published in print February 2003 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online February 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/18.2.305
Attitudes of Canadian nephrologists, family physicians and patients with kidney failure toward primary care delivery for chronic dialysis patients

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Background. Nephrologists have traditionally assumed responsibility for both nephrological and primary care health problems of their dialysis patients. However, given the increasing limitations of nephrology human resources, there is concern that traditional models may fall short of providing comprehensive care.

Methods. We studied this issue by distributing three different self‐administered surveys to 361 members of the Canadian Society of Nephrology, 325 family physicians, and 163 chronic dialysis patients.

Results. The overall response rate was 61.3% for nephrologists, 51% for family physicians, and 90% for patients. More than 50% of Canadian nephrologists are spending approximately one‐third of their time in primary care delivery. The majority of these nephrologists and family physicians agree that nephrologists should not be solely responsible for the primary care of patients on dialysis. Yet, both groups of physicians have concerns that family physicians do not have the knowledge/training and time to care for this complicated group of patients. The patients themselves have more confidence in the primary care that is delivered by their family physicians than by their nephrologists. Unfortunately, there is little communication between the two physician groups either between themselves or with their patients about the services that should be provided by their nephrologist or their family physician.

Conclusion. Nephrologists and family physicians agree that more primary care for dialysis patients should be provided by family physicians. However, the lack of communication between physicians and patients may result in either a duplication or omission of services that are required by this patient population. Dialysis delivery systems in Canada must evolve to ensure that comprehensive chronic dialysis and primary care is provided to these patients through cooperation and communication with primary care physicians.

Keywords: haemodialysis; peritoneal dialysis; primary care; survey

Journal Article.  2802 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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