Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has a new patient program that connects people who want support with someone who has been there.
Studies show that peer support is highly effective in helping patients adjust to chronic kidney disease, dialysis, and kidney transplantation. It also helps them approach end-of-life planning, and alleviate fears about kidney transplantation. It improves depression, social isolation, self esteem, and self-management, leading to better health and survival.
Evidence shows that people who help others have higher rates of physical health and life satisfaction, and lower rates of depression. They are more optimistic about their chances to live longer. Helping others can provide a sense of purpose, especially for older adults. Another advantage? It reinforces the self-health skills of mentors.
Telephone-based peer support has been shown to be effective in patients with kidney failure, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, HIV/AIDS, and numerous other conditions. Among other benefits, it can increase the quality and quantity of support between clinic visits, leading to better self management. This is especially useful to those who are tackling challenging medical tasks, such as adjusting to kidney disease or transplantation.