Chronic kidney disease, group visits, chronic illness care, multidisciplinary


First year death rates remain unacceptable high for the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population. New effective methods are vital to improve first year morbidity and mortality outcomes for the population transitioning from Stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) to ESRD)/Stage 5 CKD. Based on current methods, evidence-based recommendations made by nephrology providers are frequently not heeded by patients in Stage 4 CKD. Low levels of patient knowledge, self-efficacy, and a poor ability to self-manage CKD negatively influence a patient’s ability to follow provider recommendations. The group visit (GV) intervention has demonstrated improvements in disease-related outcomes through increased levels of patient knowledge, self-efficacy, and disease self-management for other chronic diseasses such as diabetes and congestive heart failure (CHF). No data are available for the use of GVs in CKD The purpose of the study was to develop and test a nurse practitioner-facilitated chronic CKD GV model versus usual nephrology care for Stage 4 CKD patients (knowledge, selfefficacy/self-management, physiological data, and satisfaction). As classified by the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) staging system, Stage 4 CKD is considered severe kidney disease, with a decrease in the functional capacity of the kidney as determined by a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 15-30 ml/min. It is common for patients with Stage 4 CKD to progress to Stage 5 CKD/end-stage renal disease (ESRD), requiring dialysis or transplantation to survive. Preliminary instrumentation and feasibility studies were conducted prior to a pilot study of a CKD GV model. The development and validation of the Stage 4 CKD Knowledge Instrument was completed with 59 Stage 4 patients. Findings supported reliability (KuderRichardson-20 [KR] = .89) and content validity (I-CVI = .97, S-CVI= 1.0) Feasibility of the CKD GV model was assessed with a single group, pretest-posttest design using a convenience iv sample of eight Stage 4 patients. Results demonstrated an improvement in knowledge of CKD from a median of 69% to 86% (p =.012). No improvements were noted in self-efficacy scores (p = .230). GV satisfaction ranged from very good to excellent. Feasibility was supported by a high retention rate (100%). No barriers to participant recruitment or GV implementation were encountered. The pilot study used a two-group, repeated measures experimental design, with a sample of 30 Stage 4 CKD patients from two office locations of an outpatient nephrology practice. Patients were randomized to the GV intervention or to usual nephrology care. CKD-knowledge, self-efficacy, and self-management scores were collected at baseline, six months, and nine months. Physiological data were measured at baseline, six months, and nine months. GV satisfaction was obtained after the completion of GVs (six months). Nephrology practice satisfaction was obtained from by both groups at nine months. MANOVA for repeated measures was calculated for data collected at the three time points. Twenty-six of 30 patients completed the study, with four patients ineligible to complete the study due to progression to ESRD and dialysis initiation. GV attendance was 92%. CKD knowledge was statistically improved for both groups (F(1.498, 34.446) = 6.363, P = .008). While not statistically significant, a favorable upward trend in the mean scores for the subscales of self-management (communication, partnership in care, and self-care) was demonstrated in the GV patients, with a lack of improvement found in the usual care group for these subscales. Selfefficacy scores revealed a non-significant improvement in mean scores for the GV patients during the GVs, not seen with usual care patients. GV satisfaction was again high with the vast majority of patients requesting use of GVs in their future nephrology care. v Current methods of intervention in the Stage 4 CKD population have made little impact on reducing first-year ESRD mortality and morbidity rates. Opportunities to intervene in the poor outcomes begin in the predialysis care of Stage 4 patients. Based on the documented success of multidisciplinary approaches in predialysis care, of GVs in other chronic diseases, and of chronic illness care based on the CCM, a high probability for success exists with the application of GVs in CKD. Although limited by a small sample size, promising improvements in the subscales of disease self-management, self-efficacy, CKD knowledge, and high satisfaction with the GV model for GV participants were revealed in this study. Further research is warranted for the CKD GV model on a larger randomized sample in other locations. Much needed data would be provided on which to base decisions for use of the CKD GV intervention in the predialysis care of Stage 4 patients.


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Graduation Date





Sole, Mary Lou


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Nursing



Degree Program









Release Date

May 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Nursing, Nursing -- Dissertations, Academic

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