To Dialyse or not to Dialyse – Is that the Question? A Psychosocial Perspective on Dilemmas Concerning Dialysis for People with Dementia

Gareth O’Rourke, Shona Methven*, Liz Lloyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is increasing recognition that the organisation of health care into specialist areas of practice can be counterproductive for older people with multiple morbidities and that dementia can raise particular challenges in health care. In the context of treatment for chronic kidney disease, these challenges concern complex decisions about the suitability and efficacy of dialysis and other treatments. This article draws on a literature review to present a psychosocial perspective on these decisions. It considers the value of the concept of ‘dementia friendliness’ for nephrology practice and suggests how this could provide a valuable frame of reference for the multidisciplinary nephrology team to ensure they are best equipped to work with people living with dementia and their carers and to ensure that the individual patient is truly at the centre of their treatment regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1341-1353
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Early online date30 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • chronic kidney disease
  • decision-making
  • dementia
  • psychosocial
  • renal replacement therapy

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