Clarke AL, Yates T, Smith AC, Chilcot J. Patient's perceptions of chronic kidney disease and their association with psychosocial and clinical outcomes: A narrative review. Clin Kidney J. 2016;9(3):494-502.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) form organized beliefs regarding their illness and treatment. These perceptions influence the coping strategies employed by an individual to manage his/her illness and may act as a predictor for his/her willingness to engage in self-management behaviours. While illness perceptions have been identified as predictors of non-adherence, depression and mortality in dialysis patients, there is a paucity of research in CKD patients not requiring renal replacement therapy. This narrative review synthesizes the existing literature regarding the role of illness perceptions and associated clinical and psychosocial outcomes in non-dialysis CKD patients. Studies were identified following database searches of AMED, BNI, CINAHL, EMBASE, Health Business Elite, HMIC, Medline, PsycINFO and Google Scholar in January 2016. Despite the small evidence base, existing studies indicate that negative illness perceptions are associated with disease progression and a number of psychosocial outcomes in non-dialysis CKD patients. Evidence from other clinical populations suggests that illness perceptions are modifiable through psychological intervention, which may be most effective if delivered early before beliefs have the chance to become more established. Therefore, targeting illness perceptions in the earlier stages of CKD may be optimal. Further studies are now required to ascertain the mechanisms through which illness perceptions predict psychosocial and clinical outcomes in CKD patients and to ultimately test the efficacy of illness perception-based interventions.