Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Explorative Questions to Ask

Examples of questions for exploring knowledge and expectations:

1. Assessing knowledge:

a) Do patients understand the information received?

b) Can patients describe the risks and benefits?

c) Can patients reason, or make personal sense of the information in a way that allows an

understanding of how the information applies to their individual circumstances?

2. Assessing expectations: (Arora & McHorney, 2000; Elwyn et al., 2003; Entwistle & Watt, 2006;

Holmes-Rovner et al., 1996)

a) Do patients have a realistic understanding about the nature of CKD and the impact on their

health and personal circumstances?

b) Do patients have realistic expectations about the benefit and side effects of options?

c) Do patients have realistic expectations about how different choices can impact their

personal circumstances?


Examples of questions for exploring need for resources:

a) Tell me about your living arrangements. Who do you live with?

b) Do you need any help to take your medications? If so, who helps you?

c) Who prepares your meals?

d) How do you get to your appointments?


Examples of questions for assessing patients’ level of confidence using response options:

(1 = not confident 2 = somewhat confident 3 = very confident)

a) How confident are you that your decision for renal replacement therapy type

is the right one for you?

b) How confident are you that you can attend all your dialysis appointments?

c) How confident are you that you can take your medications correctly?

d) How confident are you that you can take your medications correctly when

they cause some side effects?


Specific questions for assessing values:

a) What are your fears, concerns or doubts related to the options you are considering?

b) What is your goal in managing your CKD?

c) What do you want to avoid in this decision?

d) What is really important for you to achieve in this decision?


When decisions need to be made about your health, how much do you usually like to be involved?

❑ Make the decision on your own

❑ Share responsibility for making the decision with your doctor and/or others

(specify ___________________________)

❑ Have someone else make the decision for you (specify ___________________________)


Specific questions to assess involvement of others include:

a) Who has provided you with their opinion of this situation?

b) Whose opinion is important to you?

c) Do you feel supported by their opinion?

d) Do you feel pressure to choose a specific option?

Chronic Disease
Decision Support for Adults Living with Chronic Kidney Disease
Point of Care Resources