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Can a psychologist help a patient with renal failure?

Actually a psychologist can serve many roles in helping a person with renal failure.  First, adherence is absolutely critical when managing renal failure and subsequent dialysis - there are many factors - psychological and practical, that can impede adherence, and a psychologist can be a key player in helping to identify those barriers and working closely with the client and his or her family or support network to address them. Secondly, many persons with renal failure become candidates for transplantation - and psychological readiness is equally important as other factors in determining eligibility for transplantation - as such, having a psychologist as part of the treatment team of a person experiencing renal failure also becomes critical.  Finally, behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use become far more dangerous in persons with renal failure, and a psychologist, particularly one with training in addiction, is essential to the process of working with a person with renal failure to work toward the goal of eliminating these behaviors, and assisting the client with adhering to hydration and dietary demands.  Persons with renal failure work with multidisciplinary treatment teams - dialysis, urologists, nephrologists, and a psychologist should definitely be part of such a team. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.