NIDDK-funded study to develop approaches for chronic kidney disease management

Cleveland Clinic nephrologist Joseph Nally Jr., M.D., has been awarded a three-year, $720,000 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study and develop approaches for disease management for patients with chronic kidney disease.

"Current treatments are effective in slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease, but inadequate awareness among patients and providers has limited the widespread application of these treatments," said Dr. Nally, who directs the Center for Chronic Kidney Disease in the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

The grant will fund clinical trials to test two approaches to improving chronic kidney disease care and outcomes.

"These trials lay the foundation for larger national studies aimed at improving the processes for care and the long-term health of patients with chronic kidney disease," said Dr. Nally.

The first trial will adapt a patient navigator model, where patients are paired with a non-clinical professional who is trained to identify issues and barriers during the care process, such as insurance, transportation to appointments and communication with caregivers.

The second trial will test enhancements to the electronic health record designed to assist health care providers in identifying and following patients who show signs of deteriorating kidney function.

Chronic kidney disease occurs when an individual experiences gradual loss of kidney function over time that can be caused by a number of conditions, including diabetes or hypertension. It is a large and costly public health concern; the National Kidney Foundation estimates more than 26 million Americans are affected.

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