Dialysis clinician bias regarding patient non-compliance




Most of the research regarding dialysis patient non-compliance with the treatment regimen has not taken clinician views and biases into consideration. Studies in other medical fields have noted that an innate bias among professionals often leads to differences in treatment provision.


This study assessed the views of 135 dialysis social workers, dietitians, and nurses with regard to which types of patients they believe are likely to be non-compliant and why patients engage in these behaviors. An analysis of responses sought to identify any patterns of bias.


The majority of clinicians identified patient-centered factors as being the primary cause of non-compli-ance. Commonly noted beliefs were that patients are unable to understand the importance of compliance or they are simply in denial of their illness. Demographic variables such as patient education level, income level, and the presence of obesity were all found to influence how clinicians view patients and their behaviors.


Dialysis social workers, dietitians, and nurses in this study rarely identified their personal views or clinic factors as being causative agents in patient non-compliance. Wide differences between the views of the 3 studied professions highlights the subjective nature of labeling patients as being compliant or non-compliant.