Kathryn Ducharlet


Nephrologist, Eastern Health

Kathryn is a nephrologist at Eastern Health and also works in Renal Supportive Care and Palliative care at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. In addition to her medical degree she also has a bachelor of commerce (economics) and science (psychology). Kathryn is currently completing a PhD with Melbourne University aiming to understand renal clinicians’ perspectives and experiences of end of life care, renal supportive care and palliative care.

Presentation: Kidney Supportive Care and Conservative Care in Australia and New Zealand
Kidney or renal supportive care is described as care for people with advanced kidney disease which aims to improve quality of life (1). Conservative care is defined as planned and holistic care for patients and their families aiming to delay progression of kidney disease and minimize symptoms and risk of adverse events with treatments that do not include dialysis (2).
In the literature, these approaches have increasing evidence of benefits for certain patients, in terms of symptoms, quality of life and satisfaction with healthcare (3, 4), in parallel with increasing engagement and provision of clinician education and support. However, there have been various challenges in incorporating these approaches into routine clinical practice, including;
• variation in terms of practical definitions and terminology, referral expectations and clinical scope (5).
• limited systems to support development including resources (6)
• uncertainty of outcomes and benefit for patients (7).
At present, we have opportunities to develop and integrate Kidney Supportive Care across Australia and New Zealand through consensus of both clinical and research priorities. A way forward is to consider collaborative approaches to collect and use data with the aims of:
• improving information available for patients and clinicians about prognosis and illness expectations to assist treatment decision making
• clarify, develop and inform best practice.