“You need a team”: perspectives on interdisciplinary symptom management using patient-reported outcome measures in hemodialysis care—a qualitative study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractBackgroundPatient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are standardized instruments used for assessing patients’ perspectives on their health status at a point in time, including their health-related quality of life, symptoms, functionality, and physical, mental, and social wellbeing. For people with kidney failure receiving hemodialysis, addressing high symptom burden and complexity relies on care team members integrating their expertise to achieve common management goals. In the context of a program-wide initiative integrating PROMs into routine hemodialysis care, we aimed to explore patients’ and clinicians’ perspectives on the role of PROMs in supporting interdisciplinary symptom management.MethodsWe employed a qualitative descriptive approach using semi-structured interviews and observations. Eligible participants included adult patients receiving intermittent, outpatient hemodialysis for > 3 months, their informal caregivers, and hemodialysis clinicians (i.e., nurses, nephrologists, and allied health professionals) in Southern Alberta, Canada. Guided by thematic analysis, team members coded transcripts in duplicate and developed themes iteratively through review, refinement, and discussion.ResultsThirty-three clinicians (22 nurses, 6 nephrologists, 5 allied health professionals), 20 patients, and one caregiver participated in this study. Clinicians described using PROMs to coordinate care across provider types using the resources available in their units, whereas patients tended to focus on the perceived impact of this concerted care on symptom trajectory and care experience. We identified 3 overarching themes with subthemes related to the role of PROMs in interdisciplinary symptom management in this setting: (1) Integrating care for interrelated symptoms (“You need a team”,conducive setting, role clarity and collaboration); (2) Streamlining information sharing and access (symptom data repository,common language for coordinated care); (3) Reshaping expectations (expectations for follow-up,managing symptom persistence).ConclusionsWe found that use of PROMs in routine hemodialysis care highlighted symptom interrelatedness and complexity and helped to streamline involvement of the interdisciplinary care team. Issues such as role flexibility and resource constraints may influence sustainability of routine PROM use in the outpatient hemodialysis setting.


  • Baragar, Brigitte
  • Schick-Makaroff, Kara
  • Manns, Braden
  • Love, Shannan
  • Donald, Maoliosa
  • Santana, Maria
  • Corradetti, Bonnie
  • Finlay, Juli
  • Johnson, Jeffrey A
  • Walsh, Michael
  • Elliott, Meghan J

publication date

  • January 20, 2023