Journal Article Annotations
2021, 3rd Quarter
Annotations by Sahil Munjal, MD
This integrative describes the evidence for psychosocial factors and related social work interventions affecting patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Psychosocial factors that impact outcomes include the patient’s psychological adjustment to illness, depression/anxiety, employment, family/social functioning, financial stress, quality of life, and perception of loss. The role for renal social work (SW) embodied three domains—instrumental (patient advocacy, assistance with paperwork, and referral to appropriate community services/resources), informational (provision of education, promoting treatment adherence, financial management and employment attainment), and emotional support (counselling and family meetings). SW involvement led to improvement in depression, quality of life, hospitalization frequency, and treatment adherence.
Strength and weaknesses:
The overall quality of studies included in this review was only average. Across studies, sample sizes were small, predominantly male, on haemodialysis, and from a single site.
Patients with ESRD experience a lifetime of psychosocial stressors in addition to increased morbidity and mortality. This review highlights the role of a renal social worker in ameliorating these stressors and improving patient functioning. The SW’s role within the multidisciplinary team may include offering cognitive/behavioural therapy, emotional support counselling, information/education, social support, and patient navigation. Longitudinal studies are needed to observe renal SW interventions having a protracted impact on the life course of ESRD patients.