Trial Examines Integrated Palliative and Nephrology Care vs. Standard Nephrology
New York—Monday, August 6, 2018 – Jennifer Scherer, MD, of New York has been awarded the 2018 Satellite Dialysis Clinical Investigator Grant from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) for a pilot study testing whether palliative care (providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness) integrated with nephrology care – or standard nephrology care alone – improve outcomes for patients with kidney disease.
"I am thrilled and honored to receive this award and to work with NKF to improve the quality of life of those living with kidney disease,” said Dr. Scherer, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Health.
Dr. Scherer received the grant as part of the NKF Young Investigator Research Grant Program, which strives to improve the quality of life for those with kidney disease by funding promising young scientists in their research to discover the causes of kidney disease, how to prevent its progression and ways to improve treatment for those living with it today. “A life with kidney disease can often be a struggle,” Dr. Scherer continued. "Physical symptoms, such as pain, itch, and sleep troubles as well as emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression can significantly lower the quality of life for persons with advanced kidney disease. In addition, persons with advanced kidney disease also often lack the opportunity to have informed discussions about the types of care they would or would not want as their illness progresses.”
Dr. Scherer further explained that palliative care, a specialty that focuses on the quality of life for those with serious illness, including support in decision-making, has the potential to meet these needs in kidney care, yet evidence is limited. “In this study, the Kidney CARES team at NYU Langone Health aims to start building this much needed scientific evidence,” she said. “The study will test the impact of a randomized controlled trial of palliative care that is integrated with the patient’s usual kidney care in the outpatient setting. The goal of the study is to see if patient-centered outcomes, including symptom burden, health related quality of life, and documentation of advance directives, improves with the implementation of Kidney CARES. This innovative project has the potential to lead to practice change in kidney care that can improve the patient experience with kidney disease.”
The Young Investigator Research Program exists to help Dr. Scherer and other innovative researchers whom NKF recognizes to reach such potentially pioneering results. “Palliative care is not just for people who are enrolled in hospice care, but can also be helpful for symptom control at any stage or severity of disease,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, and Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation. “Pain and depression are common in people with kidney disease, especially those treated with dialysis. NKF is pleased to support this study of the impact of palliative care in addition to kidney specialist care on patient experience and outcomes.”
NKF Young Investigator Grants are awarded for one-year terms. They are given based upon careful and balanced peer review by an independent committee, with an emphasis on the support of high-quality, clinical investigation.
Healthcare professionals can join NKF to receive access to tools and resources for both patients and professionals, discounts on professional education, and access to a network of thousands of individuals who treat patients with kidney disease.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org