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for people ages up to 90 years
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion:
Principal Investigator



This study is designed to evaluate the feasibility of using digital-enabled education in clinical care in order to improve patient outcomes related to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If effective, educational interventions could be used to improve the long-term survival of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and to make clinical care for these patients more cost effective.


Studies have shown that educational interventions in patients nearing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) can delay the need for dialysis and increase the likelihood of the patient choosing in-home vs. in-center dialysis. Given the higher cost of in-center hemodialysis compared to in-home strategies, such as peritoneal dialysis, efforts at increasing use of in-home dialysis modalities are likely to be cost-effective. Moreover, while few studies of educational interventions have long-term follow-up, one study suggests that patients exposed to educational interventions have improved long-term survival once on dialysis.

The long-term goal is to improve clinical and patient-centered outcomes in patients transitioning from Chronic Kidney Disease Stage (CKD) IV and V to dialysis-requiring ESRD. The short-term goal of this pilot project is to evaluate the feasibility of delivering digital-enabled ESRD education to patients with CKD stage IV and V (eGFR<30ml/min/1.73m2, not yet on dialysis) in clinical care. The investigators will provide this education in the form of in-person nurse advice, online digital content including videos, and online messaging with a nurse, moderated patient group and peer mentor. The main objective of the educational program will be to 1) Increase awareness of options, 2) Prioritize options based on patient lifestyle and values, 3) Build confidence in modality decision.

The investigators will develop individualized, digitalized educational content (which includes videos, text and illustration) for patients with CKD that will increase awareness of ESRD care options including in-home hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and choosing not to have dialysis. Patients will enroll in a month-long program during which they have access to the educational app, including lifestyle and modality educational content and online messaging where they can access a nurse for 1 on 1 discussion, a patient mentor for 1 on 1 discussion, and a patient group for group mentorship exercises. The investigators will pilot these materials in patients at high risk of progression to dialysis and evaluate the primary outcomes of whether they were able to complete the program and make a modality choice. Secondary outcomes will include assessments to determine the intervention's impact on patient dialysis modality awareness and likelihood of choosing a home-dialysis modality. At the end of the study, the investigators will provide an insights report to the study participants' doctors and survey the doctors to ascertain their perspectives on the usefulness of the educational program for their patients' care.


Chronic Kidney Disease End-Stage Renal Disease


You can join if…

Open to people ages up to 90 years

  • eGFR < 30ml/min/1.73m²
  • Regular attendance at the nephrology clinic; at least two visits within the last 18 months
  • Clinic notes indicate patient has had discussion with a nephrologist regarding needing dialysis in the future

You CAN'T join if...

  • Homelessness
  • Non-English speaking
  • No phone or no internet access on one of the following: smart phone, tablet, or computer
  • No e-mail access
  • Age ≥ 90 years
  • Hospitalized more than twice during the last 6 months
  • Dementia
  • Severe cognitive impairment
  • Blindness
  • Deafness



accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Lead Scientist
Ruth Dubin
Study Type
Last Updated
May 1, 2017
I'm interested in this study!