Advance care planning in advanced chronic kidney disease: Practical communication tips for clinicians

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Abstract

Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease are often faced with sudden, serious health events that may render them unable to make healthcare decisions. Advance care planning (ACP) ensures that, through shared decision-making, a plan is in place that outlines clearly the patient's healthcare wishes, including end-of-life care wishes, should the patient be unable to direct their care. ACP done early and throughout the illness trajectory helps patients cope with their illness and improves end-of-life outcomes. As a critical component of patient-centred care, ACP should be embedded into routine kidney care. This is not routinely happening, as many clinicians feel they lack the skills and confidence to have ACP conversations with their patients. The purpose of this article is to provide kidney care teams with ACP communication tips aimed at fostering competence and confidence so that clinicians can embed ACP into routine clinical practice.

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