Decision aid for kidney patients

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Posted on 24 October 2014

Professor Simon Davies, Professor of Nephrology and Dialysis Medicine, ISTM and Consultant Nephrologist, University Hospital of North Staffordshire, has helped develop a kidney dialysis decision aid, which enabled patients with decreasing kidney function to better assess the right treatment for them.

Professor Davies worked in collaboration with researchers and decision scientists from the universities of Leeds and Sheffield, as well as nurses, doctors and patients from the NHS Hospital Trusts North Staffordshire and in Yorkshire, to develop the new Dialysis Decision Aid. The aid provides people who have, or know someone with chronic kidney disease, especially their family or carers, with comprehensive information on different dialysis treatment options.
During the Kidney Research UK-supported study, doctors, nurses, patients, carers and specialist nephrologists, who specialise in the study of kidney problems and treatments, were able to guide the development of the booklet, inputting into layout and content. 
This resulted in the development of key features such as ‘decision maps’ to help link information in the booklet with the decisions patients are making and tables describing all four dialysis options next to each other to help patients compare each treatment. The North Staffordshire contribution to the research was led by Professor Davies,  who said:  “Patients faced with the need to start kidney dialysis are often overwhelmed by their concerns as to how they will cope and manage to integrate this daunting treatment into their everyday lives. This decision aid helps them think through the options carefully by providing the information in a way that is easy to use, helping patients to make the choice that is best for them. Pulling it together has been a tremendous collaborative effort between patients, carers, nurses, doctors, hospital and university staff. I am particularly proud of the great contribution made by patients and staff in North Staffordshire who played a particular role in the validating the ‘on-line’ version of this tool” 
The booklet was developed through a Kidney Research UK- funded study by the Yorkshire Dialysis Decision Aid research team and run in collaboration with Baxter Healthcare Ltd, the British Renal Society and Renal Association. 
The research was led by Dr Hilary Bekker (Decision Scientist, University of Leeds) and co-investigators included Dr Andrew Mooney (Nephrology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust), Dr Martin Wilkie (Nephrology, Sheffield NHS), Professor Nigel Mathers (Primary Care, University of Sheffield), Dennis Crane (National Kidney Federation) and Ken Tupling (Sheffield Kidney Patient Association), and Dr Anna Winterbottom, David Meads, Dr Paul Baxter and Dr Susan Clamp (Health Services Research, University of Leeds). 
For more information and details on how to get a copy of the booklet visit  or email  or telephone 0845 300 1499.