An overview of advance care planning for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease: The basics.
As the number of Canadians living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) continues to grow, even higher numbers are living with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Many of these people will eventually require renal replacement therapy (RRT), either dialysis or transplantation. More than 50% of patients starting RRT today are aged 65 or older, with the fastest growing group being patients 75 years and older. Despite advances to dialysis technology and dialysis care, the mortality rates remain high and dialysis patients' end-of-life care may not align with their preferences or values. Advance care planning (ACP) is an essential component of quality comprehensive kidney care. Kidney care teams develop strong relationships with their patients and are well positioned to integrate ACP into routine kidney care. This article defines ACP, outlines the essential components of ACP, and discusses the benefits, challenges, and special considerations of ACP. By enhancing the kidney care team's understanding of ACP, this article aims to assist in integrating ACP into routine kidney care for patients with advanced CKD.
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