Development and Testing of an Innovative Patient-Centered Physical Activity Program for Hemodialysis Patients

Exercise Study

Title: Development and Testing of an Innovative Patient-Centered Physical Activity Program for Hemodialysis Patients

Sponsor: NKF

Collaborators:UIUC & RRI

Background: Individuals with kidney failure receiving maintenance hemodialysis (HD) have very low physical activity levels and poor physical function, and this contributes to a poor quality of life (QOL) and premature mortality. To help address this problem, many have implemented simplistic exercise programs that include mandated exercise prescriptions such as cycling during dialysis, light resistance training, or at home walking programs. But the benefits from these studies are often disappointing, as they are characterized by poor adherence, high dropout rates, and modest effects on physical function or other outcomes related to QOL.

The primary objective of this study is to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of an individualized patient-centered exercise prescription in HD patients. To accomplish this, we established a system in which participants will accumulate points by completing various activities of their choosing. This may include “lifestyle” activities (e.g., gardening, housework), endurance exercise, and/or strength training type activities. Points for each activity are derived from metabolic equivalent (MET) scores from the Compendium of Physical Activity. The goal of the point-based system is to apply a progressive physical activity (PA) program in which participants are increasing PA on a weekly basis. The rationale for this point system is that participants can choose activities that are important to them, as opposed to prescribed mandated exercises they may not value or benefit from. This may create more intrinsic motivation for patients, thus increasing adherence to their PA prescription. Similar methods have been implemented within healthy populations for dieting and PA interventions but is untested in hemodialysis patients.

Contact Graduate Student Alexis King for more information.