UAMS, Arkansas Department of Health Seek Volunteers for Kidney Disease Education Study

By Ben Boulden

The study is to determine if telemedicine can deliver effective education to people with chronic kidney disease.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are two of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease, and Arkansans have a high rate of both. An estimated 59 percent of the United States population will develop chronic kidney disease in their lifetimes, yet only a small percentage of them are even aware they have it. The UAMS-led study is hoping to show that through education and telephone follow-up, participants will be empowered to make changes that can both slow the progression of their chronic kidney disease and prepare them for transplant or dialysis when it is needed.

Participants will receive education through telemedicine at one of six participating ADH sites throughout Arkansas while maintaining follow-up with their local medical providers. All ADH participants will be encouraged to seek care from a local nephrologist if they are not already seeing one.

Participants must have less than 30 percent kidney function, be 18 and be able tospeak and read English.

“We welcome those who are interested and qualify to participate in this study,” said Dumitru Rotaru, M.D., the study’s principal investigator. “The more representative of Arkansas’ general population the group is then the stronger the research and its results will be.”

The education will be provided in three classes and will focus on explaining chronic kidney disease and treatment options like dialysis or kidney transplant. The team will include physicians, an Advanced Practice Nurse, a Renal Dietitian, a doctor of pharmacy and a social worker. Volunteers also will participate in quarterly telephone follow-ups for up to three years after enrollment.

Study participants at the ADH sites will be randomized in a control group and an education group. The control group will get printed materials and will receive a workbook and a video on the last visit. The education group will attend education classes through telemedicine and receive a workgroup at the first visit. A third group at UAMS will attend in person the same educational classes simultaneously as the ADH education group. All groups will receive compensation for their time and travel.

To participate in the study, please ask your health care provider for a referral to attend the education classes at your nearest participating ADH clinic in Monticello, Hot Springs, Batesville, Blytheville, Helena or Clinton. For more information, email or call (501) 257-5979.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — COPD, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and four dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.