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Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease a guide for the non-specialist

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Title: Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease a guide for the non-specialist

Author: Robert Lewis

Publisher: M&K Publishing, 2012

Reviewer: Anne Duell, registered general nurse, Birmingham Community NHS Trust

What was it like?

This is a great introductory textbook, which provides the reader with a working understanding and knowledge surrounding the kidney and its pathophysiology. As the title indicates, the focus of this textbook is chronic kidney disease. However, the focus is much as it says, for the non-specialist. Having read this book it has enhanced my knowledge not just of the pathology of disease but also the guidelines and financial implications of this evolving illness.

Lewis provides his readers with a good introduction and explanation surrounding the growing role of the primary care setting in managing patients who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. This focus dwells on financial implications, the prevalence of the disease, health care policy development and implementation.  


For practitioners with limited knowledge of what constitutes chronic kidney disease and its subsequent classifications, chapter two of this book unearths this in a reader-friendly format.  Proceeding through the book, chapter four provides everything a practitioner wants to know about glomerular filtration rates. 

Later in the book, chapter seven focuses on the older population, which comprises the majority of health care practice for this patient group. Lewis presents a biological tour starting from the formation of the nephrons by the 30th week in utero.  He then reminds us that there is currently no current repair mechanism for these post-birth therefore highlighting the long-term impact disease or damage has on this major organ.

The following chapters focus on a holistic approach to disease management, which ranges from diet to medication. Continuing this approach end stage renal disease and end of life care are discussed.

What were the highlights? 

The highlights in this book are the time taken to provide a holistic and patient centred approach to chronic kidney disease management. Along with this how these needs can be met undertaking a partnership between primary care services and the patient’s needs.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The strength of this book is that it has a logical structure and format to aid any reader to enhance their learning in an easy-to-follow manner. It is strongly focused on the needs of the patient while highlighting the pressures on primary care to adhere to guidelines specific to a patient with chronic kidney disease.  

Who should read it?

This book should be read by any health professionals working with patients who are at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease. It is a book that is an invaluable resource for those working within elderly care or with patients who have long term health conditions.

It is a good aid to learning for students of nursing and registered nurses who work with patients wither on an in-patient or out-patient basis, specifically in a GP surgery or an out-patients department.

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