Patient education classes may reduce disparities in kidney transplantation

February 16, 2012

Being educated about your health and your treatment options is a good thing. According to a new study, kidney failure patients who take part in an education program are more likely to get evaluated for a kidney transplant. The study appears in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The findings indicate that requiring a formal patient education class may help reduce inequities in kidney failure patients' access to kidney transplantation.

Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for kidney failure. Among kidney failure patients, blacks are less likely to receive kidney transplants than whites for reasons that are unclear. Unfortunately, few published studies have looked at interventions that might reduce such in access to kidney transplantation.

In an attempt to educate patients about the transplant process, the Emory Transplant Center's kidney program implemented a required educational session in 2007 for each patient who was referred for a kidney transplant evaluation. The session consisted of a half-day class involving lectures and discussions from a transplant coordinator, financial coordinator, and .

Rachel Patzer, PhD (Emory University) and her colleagues looked to see if this required patient education program helped reduce transplant-related disparities. The researchers retrospectively examined information from 1,126 kidney failure patients who were referred for kidney transplant evaluation between 2005 and 2008. Seventy-five percent of patients were referred before the program was implemented, while 25% were referred after.

Among the major findings:

  • After the education program was implemented, 80.4% of patients completed a kidney transplant evaluation within one year, while before the program only 44.7% completed the evaluation during that time.
  • The intervention particularly improved the likelihood that black patients and those patients living in would complete an evaluation.
The findings indicate that kidney failure patients who take part in an education program are more likely to get evaluated for a . Also, requiring a formal patient education class may help reduce disparities among patients.

"This study provides some evidence to test an intervention of a patient education program for potential transplant candidates in a randomized controlled study to examine whether this improves access to for poor or minority patients," said Dr. Patzer. "These results may also give other centers an idea of how to design and evaluate their own centers' educational programs by subgroups of race and socioeconomic status," she added. Patzer noted that current clinical guidelines do not provide recommendations on the most effective content and format for such educational programs.

Explore further: Racial disparities exist in access to kidney transplantation

More information: The article, entitled "Impact of a Patient Education Program on Disparities in Kidney Transplant Evaluation," will appear online on February 16, 2012, doi: 10.2215/CJN.10071011

Related Stories

Racial disparities exist in access to kidney transplantation

February 9, 2012
A new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation reveals that racial disparities exist in both the early and late steps in access to kidney transplantation. This study is part of the February special themed ...

Racial inequalities exist for kids with kidney disease

November 10, 2011
Among children with kidney disease, certain races are less likely to get kidney transplants and are more likely to die than other races, according to two studies from Emory University that were presented during the American ...

Kidney failure risk higher for liver transplant patients following policy change

January 17, 2012
Research from the University of Michigan Health System shows the risk for kidney failure among liver transplant recipients is higher following the implementation of Model of End Stage Liver Disease (MELD), a policy change ...

Aboriginal children less likely to receive kidney transplants

May 24, 2011
Aboriginal children with kidney failure were less likely to receive a kidney transplant compared to white children, found an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.