How to talk about Peritoneal Dialysis

When you talk to candidates for Peritoneal Dialysis (PD), it’s important to project a positive attitude and an open mind about options. This will help overcome patient fears—whether it’s fear about their overall health or fear of handling the ins and outs of any type of dialysis.
Every patient is an individual, but it’s interesting to see what information PD patients prioritize. Research suggests that patients who have already chosen PD place higher importance than other patients on lifestyle issues and the comfort of dialysis therapy.1 At the same time, End-Stage Renal Disease patients in general, when choosing a modality, put more emphasis on health outcomes than their physicians might realize.1 Their top priority, no matter what modality they eventually use, is how well the therapy works.1

Treatment options education

Patient education is critical in exploring treatment options and developing confidence in the ability to handle home dialysis. Education in earlier stages of Chronic Kidney Disease helps patients better prepare for dialysis and determine what they prefer before they are forced to decide.


A Canadian study by McLaughlin et al., suggests that patients are more likely to choose a self-care mode of dialysis if their modality education promotes active learning, such as brainstorming and problem-solving exercises, in a small-group context, supported by materials in more than one medium that can be studied at home as well as used in class.2

At Baxter, we suggest these treatment option education components:
  • Multidisciplinary, regularly scheduled sessions managed by home program staff
  • Include an experienced patient as part of the agenda
  • Encourage family participation
  • Host two 2-2.5 hour sessions with the opportunity to return as often as needed
  • Follow up with patients based on GFR or estimated time to dialysis
Each member of the care team provides insight into a patient’s suitability for PD. In the end, however, dialysis modality is the patient’s decision, influenced by the care team and his or her family or other caregivers. This is why it’s important for family members to be included in education sessions.

Additional resources

*The following are online resources from professional associations, government entities, and consumer organizations that provide more information. Baxter Healthcare Corporation does not review or control the content of any non-Baxter site. Baxter Healthcare Corporation does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy, content, practices or standards of any non-Baxter sources.

GfK Healthcare. US Dialysis Patient Segmentation; 2010.
McLaughlin, K, Jones H, VanderStraeten C, et al. Why do patients choose self-care dialysis? Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2008;23:3972-3976.