Awareness, Understanding and Treatment Practices when Managing Cachexia in End-Stage Kidney Disease

Clare McKeaveney, Helen Noble, Ilaria de Barbieri, Veronica Strini, Alexander P. Maxwell, Joanne Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Cachexia is a wasting syndrome found within a range of chronic illnesses/life‐limiting conditions, however awareness and understanding of cachexia amongst renal Health Care Professionals has not been investigated. Objectives: To ascertain the awareness, understanding and treatment practices of Health Care Professionals who provide care for people with cachexia and end‐stage renal disease. Methods: Health Care Professionals were recruited via the European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association/European Renal Care Association in September 2018. This was an exploratory study using a mixed‐methods approach with those who provide care for patients with end‐stage renal disease and cachexia. An online survey and two focus groups were conducted. Descriptive statistics and inductive thematic analysis were used to explore current knowledge and practices in renal cachexia. Results: A total of 93 participants from 30 countries completed the online survey. Twelve Health Care Professionals agreed to participate in the focus groups. Reduced appetite, weight loss and muscle loss in relation to cachexia were accurately described, but the percentage of weight loss was unknown. The importance of multi‐professional collaboration was recognised, however, the current management of cachexia was wide‐ranging. Quality of life, patient‐clinician communication and specialist support for carers were regarded as vital. Conclusion: Timely identification and management of cachexia are needed to improve the quality of life for patients and appropriately support families. In order for these goals to be achieved, there is a need to increase awareness and understanding of cachexia amongst renal nurses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Renal Care
Issue number1
Early online date22 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2020


  • cachexia
  • Kidney disease
  • Weight Loss
  • Chronic illness
  • Health care professionals


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