Novel Tool May Help Dialysis Patients with Phosphorus Control

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LAS VEGAS—A novel interactive Web-based phosphorus education tool may help to improve phosphorus control in dialysis patients, according to a report at the National Kidney Foundation's Spring Clinical Meetings.

The tool, developed by DaVita, is called The 30-Day Phosphorus Challenge. It is open to the general public and is designed to educate kidney patients, family members, caregivers, and health-care teams through phosphorus-related e-mails, community-board based social interaction, games, and educational content (such as articles, recipes, handouts, and videos).

Sara Carlson, RD, and her collaborators at DaVita Clinical Research tested this tool among 43 dialysis patients from 22 dialysis centers across the United States. Of these, 24 completed the pre- and post-tests and had phosphorus laboratory values for each time point. On a test of six knowledge points, the 24 patients got an average of 0.8 more questions right after the intervention.

They had a mean phosphorus decrease of 0.20 mg/dL after the intervention, but this was not statistically significant. Dr. Carlson pointed out, however, that 12 patients experienced decreases in phosphorus levels, 11 had an increase, and one did not have a change. In a survey, more than 75% of patients felt they had learned something about phosphorus and more than 90% felt more confident about making lower phosphorus food choices after taking the challenge.

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