Patient-specific treatment recommendations in guidelines for hemodialysis vascular access


Our findings show that current clinical practice guidelines for hemodialysis vascular access lack patient-specific recommendations” Queeley et al (2018).


BACKGROUND: Hemodialysis is a procedure that requires efficient removal and return of blood to a patient’s body. Despite being a life-sustaining process, hemodialysis is associated with morbidity, mortality, and high societal costs. A significant part of the financial costs to patients and society at large can be attributed to vascular access dysfunction. The cornerstone to efficient hemodialysis is a well-functioning vascular access that simultaneously allows efficient blood flow for dialysis and easy cannulation. It is hypothesized that the poor health outcomes associated with vascular access dysfunction can be improved by paying closer attention to patient-specific factors in clinical guidelines for hemodialysis vascular access. This may require a shift to a more patient-centered approach to vascular access management.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the presence of patient-specific treatment recommendations in the current clinical practice guidelines for hemodialysis vascular access.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic search of PubMed and professional nephrology organization websites for full-text clinical practice guidelines with treatment recommendations regarding hemodialysis vascular access. We developed a coding sheet to document the number of patient-specific treatment recommendations and other quality attributes found in the extracted clinical practice guidelines.

RESULTS: Our search resulted in the extraction of 5 clinical practice guidelines for final review. Only 1 of the 5 extracted guidelines was found to contain patient-specific treatment recommendations, but the treatment recommendations were limited to juvenile patients. Of the 5 clinical practice guidelines, 4 were published within the past decade (ie, after 2006).

CONCLUSION: Our findings show that current clinical practice guidelines for hemodialysis vascular access lack patient-specific recommendations. Future clinical guidelines must consider patient-specific treatment recommendations with the goal of improving hemodialysis vascular access outcomes for patients, a goal that is supported in the recommendations of the National Kidney Foundation.

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Full Text


Queeley, G.L., Campbell, E.S. and Ali, A.A. (2018) Assessing the Level of Patient-Specific Treatment Recommendations in Clinical Practice Guidelines for Hemodialysis Vascular Access in the United States. American Health & Drug Benefits. 11(5), p.223-230.


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