Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Dial. 2012 Nov-Dec;25(6):611-6. doi: 10.1111/sdi.12017. Epub 2012 Oct 19.

NephroTalk: communication tools to enhance patient-centered care.

Author information

Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics, Renal-Electrolyte Division, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Nephrologists frequently must discuss serious news with patients, especially those with advanced comorbidities. These discussions include giving bad news, addressing prognosis, and assisting with treatment decision making. Few data exist about how nephrologists approach these difficult conversations. This article presents a framework for engaging in these discussions using a case example, and provides tools for assisting with treatment decision making for initiating or forgoing dialysis. Communication skills presented include Ask-Tell-Ask for discussing serious news, the N-U-R-S-E acronym for recognizing and responding to emotion; tools for naming uncertainty when addressing prognosis; and using big picture questions to elicit patient care preferences for treatment decision making. This article provides nephrologists with the framework and skills to better engage in patient-centered decision making.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center