Renal Supportive Care Services (RSCS) were introduced in Australia to provide patient-centred care with a focus on better symptom management and improved quality of life in end stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients managed with or without dialysis. While RSCS have demonstrated clinical benefits with reduced length of hospital stay and symptom burden, there is a gap in understanding the experience of patients referred to RSCS.


To identify patient attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives on the RSCS.


Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 participants from both dialysis and conservative treatment pathways. Transcripts were then thematically analysed and primary themes identified, which were reviewed with a stakeholder group that included doctors, nurses and allied health staff to provide triangulation.


Patients perceived the RSCS as a provider of multidisciplinary, holistic and patient-centred care that, in addition, helped to ensure prognostic awareness and timely end-of-life care planning. This contributed to an overall sense of patient empowerment with healthcare decisions. This study identified three major themes: (1) Expectations of care; (2) Experience of care; and (3) Understanding patient needs.


The study found that RSCS support patient-centred and family-orientated initiatives in decision making and control over healthcare management. This is empowering for patients. Additional patient values, needs and wants from the RSCS were also identified and these could be addressed to improve the patient experience. Our findings support the ongoing use of RSCS to improve the experience of ESKD patients.


Renal supportive care, Patient experience, End stage kidney disease, Patient empowerment, Continuity of care

Link to Publisher Version (URL)


Available for download on Friday, December 23, 2022

Find in your library