Impact of COVID-19 on patient experience of kidney care: a rapid review

Lucy Mackintosh*, Paula Ormandy, Amanda Busby, Janine Hawkins, Ranjit Klare, Christina Silver, Maria Da Silva-Gane, Shalini Santhakumaran, Paul Bristow, Shivani Sharma, David Wellsted, Joseph Chilcot, Sivakumar Sridharan, Retha Steenkamp, Tess Harris, Susan Muirhead, Vicky Lush, Sarah Afuwape, Ken Farrington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In March 2020, a pandemic state was declared due to SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19). Patients with kidney disease, especially those on replacement therapies, proved more susceptible to severe infection. This rapid literature review aims to help understand how the pandemic impacted patient experience of kidney care. Methods: It was conducted in accordance with Cochrane Rapid Review interim guidance. Search terms, ‘coronavirus’, ‘kidney care’, and ‘patient-reported experience’ and terms with similar semantic meaning, identified 1,117 articles in Medline, Scopus, and Worldwide Science. Seventeen were included in the narrative synthesis. Results: The findings were summarised into three themes: remote consultation and telemedicine (n = 9); psychosocial impact (n = 2); and patient satisfaction and patient-reported experience (n = 6). Patients were mostly satisfied with remote consultations, describing them as convenient and allowing avoidance of hospital visits. Anxieties included missing potentially important clinical findings due to lack of physical examination, poor digital literacy, and technical difficulties. Psychosocial impact differed between treatment modalities—transplant recipients expressing feelings of instability and dread of having to return to dialysis, and generally, were less satisfied, citing reduced ability to work and difficulty accessing medications. Those on home dialysis treatments tended to feel safer. Findings focused on aspects of patient experience of kidney care during the pandemic rather than a holistic view. Conclusions: There was little direct evaluation of modality differences and limited consideration of health inequalities in care experiences. A fuller understanding of these issues would guide policy agendas to support patient experience during future public health crises. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Early online date20 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2023

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  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Coronavirus
  • Kidney care
  • Patient experience


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