Comorbidity data were collected and a modified patient symptom module was completed. Fifty-five patients who were managed without dialysis were reviewed and the symptom burden recorded was high. Using a tool that may lead to assessing more effective symptom treatments, revealed the extent of symptom burden in conservatively managed ESKD. It is also important to emphasize that a conservative, non-dialysis approach to ESKD management should not be a vacuum, but in fact can provide an intensive programme
of multidisciplinary care and support. It also provides the patient and their family with the confidence that there will be no reduction in medical and nursing care.60 A study from Hong Kong assessed and compared the quality of life and symptom burden between patients on haemodialysis SCH 900776 cell line and peritoneal dialysis with palliative care ESKD patients with an eGFR <15 mL/min.22 This prospective observational study included 179 patients, 134 who had dialysis and 45 who undertook palliative care. Those that received palliative care had greater comorbidity and were older. There was no significant difference in symptom burden between groups and the quality of life was significantly reduced in both groups. In this setting there was little difference in symptoms
and quality of life whether they had dialysis GSK126 cell line or palliative care. The palliative care process needs to consider acknowledging and dealing with this grieving both in the patient, their family and health-care providers. A study conducted by Badger exploring factors impacting on end-of-life transitions in critical care found two key areas of concern for nurses.61 These were the ‘complex emotions and frank indecisiveness expressed by patients’ families. Grief and loss are issues intertwined throughout Dimethyl sulfoxide the course of CKD and ESKD management.62 Although grief is clearly associated with death, it is also evident and experienced much earlier in the trajectory of an illness and is even felt immediately a new high impact diagnosis is realized. Clinicians may avoid discussing end-of-life decisions with patients for fear of causing undue anxiety.63 This is despite the patients desire to address the issues. Cultural differences in the
approach to end-of-life decisions, advanced care planning and withdrawal from dialysis have been addressed by Davison and Holley.43 Non-Western cultures, significantly represented in the Australian population, may have very different understandings of the medical system, health and disease. These cultural sensitivities need to be taken into account when discussing palliative care and end-of-life decisions. Several studies have indicated that the beliefs and values of health professionals have a clear impact on the integration of palliative care into the management of ESKD patients. Twohig and Byock64 found that the focus of care remained on cure and prolongation of life and that ethical cultural and legal issues impact on the clinical decision to withdraw or withhold dialysis.