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The Kidney Supportive Care programme: characteristics of patients referred to a new model of care
  1. Louise Purtell1,2,3,
  2. P Marcin Sowa3,4,
  3. Ilse Berquier2,
  4. Carla Scuderi2,
  5. Carol Douglas5,
  6. Bernadette Taylor2,
  7. Katrina Kramer5,
  8. Wendy Hoy3,6,
  9. Helen Healy2,3,7 and
  10. Ann Bonner1,2,3
  1. 1 School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 Kidney Health Service, Metro North Hospital & Health Service, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3 NHMRC Chronic Kidney Disease Centre of Research Excellence, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4 Centre for the Business and Economics of Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5 Palliative and Supportive Care Service, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  6. 6 Centre for Chronic Disease, Faculty of Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  7. 7 Kidney Research Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Louise Purtell, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia; louise.purtell{at}


Objectives For many people with advanced kidney disease, their physical, psychological and emotional needs remain unmet. Kidney supportive care, fully integrating specialist kidney and palliative care teams, responds to the emotional and symptom distress in this cohort who may be on a non-dialysis care pathway or on dialysis and approaching end of life. We aimed to analyse and describe the operation and patient characteristics of a new kidney supportive care programme (KSCp).

Methods A multidisciplinary KSCp was introduced through a tertiary hospital in Brisbane, Australia. Operational information and characteristics of referred patients were collected from internal databases and electronic medical records and analysed descriptively. Patient data were collected using validated instruments to assess symptom burden, health-related quality of life, health state, functional status and performance at clinic entry and analysed descriptively.

Results 129 people with advanced kidney disease were referred to the KSCp within the first year (median age 74 (range 27.7–90.5), 48.1% female, median Charlson Comorbidity Index score 7 (IQR 6–8) and mean Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale Renal score 19.6±9.8). 59% were currently receiving dialysis. The leading reason for referral was symptom management (37%). While quality of life and health state varied considerably among the cohort, in general, these parameters were well below population norms.

Conclusions Results indicate that patients referred to the KSCp were those with a strong need for a patient-centred, integrated model of care. Shifting focus to co-ordinated, multidisciplinary care rather than discrete specialty silos appears key to addressing the challenging clinical problems in end-of-life care.

  • chronic kidney disease
  • supportive care
  • model of care
  • patient-reported outcome measures

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  • HH and AB contributed equally.

  • Contributors HH, AB, CD and IB designed the study/clinical programme. IB and BT collected data. LP and PMS analysed data. AB, HH, LP and PMS interpreted results. LP, AB and HH wrote the manuscript. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by: Metro North Hospital & Health Service SEED Grant; Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI) Implementation Grant (#IG000754); NHMRC Chronic Kidney Disease Centre of Research Excellence.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Requests for access to data should be addressed to the corresponding author.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.