Aim. To investigate the physical, knowledge and quality of life outcomes of an educational intervention for patients with early stage chronic kidney disease. Background. A comprehensive predialysis education care team can be effective in slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease. Design. A single group repeated measures design was used to evaluate the effects of the intervention. Methods. Participants were recruited through health department community health screen data banks. A predialysis, team-delivered educational intervention covering renal function health care, dietary management of renal function and the effects of Chinese herb medication on renal function was designed and implemented. Data were collected at baseline, six and 12 months. Study outcomes included physical indicators, knowledge (renal function protection, use of Chinese herbs and renal function and diet) and quality of life. Data were analysed using repeated measure anova to test for change over time in outcome variables. Results. Sixty-six persons participated in this study. The predialysis educational intervention showed significant differences at the three time points in overall knowledge scores, waist-hip ratio, body mass index and global health status. Knowledge measures increased at month 6 and decreased at month 12. The primary indicator of renal function, glomerular filtration rate, remained stable throughout the 12 months of follow-up, despite the relatively older mean age of study participants. Conclusion. A predialysis education care team can provide effective disease-specific knowledge and may help retard deterioration of renal function in persons with early-stage chronic kidney disease. The intervention dose may need to be repeated every six months to maintain knowledge effects. Relevance to clinical practice. A predialysis educational program with disease-specific knowledge and information is feasible and may provide positive outcomes for patients. Topics on the uses of Chinese herbs should be included for people who are likely to use alternative therapies.
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