BACKGROUND: Adherence to the diet prescription for chronic kidney disease is suboptimal. Interventions to improve dietary adherence suggest that improving communication between the patient and the health professional is fundamental to improving outcomes. Providing patients with a question prompt sheet prior to the consultation has been demonstrated to be an effective method for improving communication between patient and health professional. In the absence of a renal diet specific version, the aims of this study were to develop and test the feasibility of a renal diet specific question prompt sheet for use in nephrology clinics.
METHODS: Phase one utilized social listening methodology, online content analysis and clinic observations to obtain an extensive list of frequently asked questions about the renal diet. Following refinement with health professionals, the draft question prompt sheet was then sent in Phase two to patients one week prior to their scheduled consultation with the renal dietitian. Feedback was obtained from patients, carers and dietitians using semi structured interviews post clinic consultation. Quantitative data was analyzed using counts and proportions, while free text responses were analyzed thematically.
RESULTS: A total of 769 unique renal diet related questions were reduced to an 18-item question prompt sheet. Feedback from thirteen patients (six males), six carers and six dietitians involved in the preliminary feasibility study was overwhelmingly positive. The majority of patients found the question prompt sheet to be easy to understand and agreed it facilitated communication with the dietitian. All participants agreed that they would recommend use of question prompt sheet to other patients. Suggestions for future use included health professional training in use of the sheet, particularly about how to help patients prioritize their most important questions.
CONCLUSIONS: The 18-item renal diet question prompt sheet developed in this preliminary study appears to be a feasible tool for use in nephrology consultations especially by dietitians. Further research quantifying the impact on question asking and patient centeredness should be undertaken. In addition, user testing with patients from culturally diverse and low literacy backgrounds would be useful.