There is a paucity of information about the views of dialysis nurses towards dialysis modality selection, yet nurses often have the most direct contact time with patients. We conducted a survey to better understand nurses’ attitudes and perceptions, and hypothesized that nurses with different areas of expertise would have differences in opinions.
We administered an electronic survey to all dialysis/predialysis nurses (n = 129) at a large, tertiary care center. The survey included questions about preferred therapy - in-center hemodialysis (CHD), versus home dialysis (home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis) and ideal modality mix. Responses were compared between nurses with home dialysis and CHD experience.
The survey response rate was 69%. Both nursing groups ranked patient caregivers and dialysis nurses as having the least impact on patient modality selection. For most patient characteristics (including age > 70 years and presence of multiple chronic illnesses), CHD nurses felt that CHD was somewhat or strongly preferred, while home dialysis nurses preferred a home modality (p < 0.001 for all characteristics studied). Similar differences in responses were noted for patient/system factors such as patient survival, cost to patients and nursing job security. Compared to CHD nurses, a higher proportion of home dialysis nurses felt that CHD was over-utilized (85% versus 58%, p = 0.024).