Conservative care as a treatment option for patients aged 75 years and older with CKD stage V: a National survey in the Netherlands

Christopher Susanto*, J. Kooman, A. M. Courtens, C. J. A. M. Konings

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background and objectives Conservative care for patients aged 75 years and older with CKD stage 5 as a treatment option besides dialysis was proposed officially in the Netherlands in October 2016. This national survey showed the current implementation of this option in Netherlands nephrology departments. Design, setting, participants and measurement A web-based survey was sent to medical managers of 60 nephrology departments in the Netherlands in August 2016. Results Twenty-one medical managers (35%) completed the survey. The term "conservative care" is frequently used and well known. The estimated number of patients in whom the decision for maximal conservative care was made in 2015 was 310 of 2249 patients with CKD stage 5 age 75 years and older (range 5-50 patients per department). 164 patients became symptomatic and received no dialysis. There is no official registration for this treatment option and patient category. The practice patterns vary widely. Only one of 21 respondents reported a conservative care outpatient clinic. Formal training or education regarding conservative care is not available in most of departments. 95% of respondents discussed this treatment option with their patients. General practitioners are always being informed about their patient's decision. Their main role is providing or organizing palliative care support at the end of life and discussing advance care planning. Most respondents (86%) considered to include their patients in a prospective multicentre observational study, conservative care versus dialysis. Conclusions Conservative care as a treatment option for patients with CKD stage 5 aged 75 years and older is well established. The practice patterns are varied in the Netherlands. Follow-up studies are needed to see whether the new multidisciplinary guideline facilitates harmonization of practice pattern. Funding is needed to optimize the implementation of conservative care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Older patients
  • Renal replacement therapy
  • Conservative care

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