Identifying and integrating patient and caregiver perspectives for clinical practice guidelines on the screening and management of infectious microorganisms in hemodialysis units

Authors: Miller, Hilary M.; Tong, Allison; Tunnicliffe, David J.; Campbell, Denise; Pinter, Jule; Commons, Robert J.; Athan, Eugene; Craig, Jonathan C.; Gilroy, Nicole; Green, Julianne; Henderson, Belinda; Howell, Martin; Stuart, Rhonda L.; van Eps, Carolyn; Wong, Muh Geot; de Zoysa, Janak; Jardine, Meg J.

Source: HEMODIALYSIS INTERNATIONAL, 21 (2):213-223, APR 2017

Brief summary of the paper:

Introduction: The integration of patient and caregiver input into guideline development can help to ensure that clinical care addresses patient expectations, priorities, and needs. We aimed to identify topics and outcomes salient to patients and caregivers for inclusion in the Kidney Health Australia Caring for Australasians with Renal Impairment (KHA-CARI) clinical practice guideline on the screening and management of infectious microorganisms in hemodialysis units.

Methods: A facilitated workshop was conducted with 11 participants (patients [n = 8], caregivers [n = 3]). Participants identified and discussed potential topics for inclusion in the guidelines, which were compared to those developed by the guideline working group. The workshop transcript was thematically analyzed to identify and describe the reasons underpinning their priorities.

Findings: Patients and caregivers identified a range of topics already covered by the scope of the proposed guidelines and also suggested additional topics: privacy and confidentiality, psychosocial care during/after disease notification, quality of transportation, psychosocial treatment of patients in isolation, patient/caregiver education and engagement, and patient advocacy. Five themes characterized discussion and underpinned their choices: shock and vulnerability, burden of isolation, fear of infection, respect for privacy and confidentiality, and confusion over procedural inconsistencies.

Discussion: Patients and caregivers emphasized the need for guidelines to address patient education and engagement, and the psychosocial implications of communication and provision of care in the context of infectious microorganisms in hemodialysis units. Integrating patient and caregiver perspectives can help to improve the relevance of guidelines to enhance quality of care, patient experiences, and health and psychosocial outcomes.