Friday, 19 October 2012

Talking improves your dialysis!

I had to read the article twice to be sure I wasn't missing something. But talking with your doctor during dialysis seems to improve the end result!

An article in eAJKD reports on a presentation at the National Kidney Foundation in May 2012. Here is the video interview with the lead researcher.

There's an abstract from the presentation available as well

Medical staff having a general conversation with patients for anywhere from 5 - 30 mins (but the actual time doesn't seem to matter much, 5 - 10 mins is perfectly okay) was found to be beneficial. "We found that just 'talking' about non-treatment issues was positive," said lead researcher Judith Beto from Loyola University in Illinois, USA.

Chronic hemodialysis education may result in boredom and disinterest, meaning patients may struggle with noncompliance secondary to depression, explain Beto and team.

The health educators just talked about living with hemodialysis in general, without trying to set an educate the patient goal of any sort.

The research showed that 84% of dialysis patients who received what was called “talking control support therapy” had at least one health improvement activity. The talking between the patients and the techs in the study was more like talking between friends rather than the kind that often occurs in dialysis clinics, with the tech just lecturing the patient for bad lab values. Both the worker and the patient shared information about themselves on a more personal level. The talking also covered issues such as life with dialysis.

"Talking control" is a cognitive behaviour, similar to befriending, which has been studied in depressed older populations in the primary care setting, say the researchers, who believe their findings are the first to use the technique in a dialysis population.

So, next time you're in for dialysis, or monitoring a patient of dialysis, have a chat!