Background: Predialysis psychoeducational interventions increase patient knowledge about chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its treatment and extend time to dialysis therapy without compromising physical well-being in the short run. The present research examines long-term survival after predialysis psychoeducational intervention. In addition, we examined whether survival differed because of early (ie, > or = 3 months) versus late referral to nephrology.
Methods: We collected follow-up data for patients with CKD who participated in a multicenter randomized controlled trial of predialysis psychoeducational interventions in the mid-1980s. We gathered 20-year survival data from clinical records and databases.
Results: Participants included 335 patients with CKD, including 172 patients randomly assigned to receive predialysis psychoeducational interventions (63.0% men; mean age, 50.8 years) and 163 patients assigned to usual care (62.1% men; mean age, 52.7 years). Two hundred forty-six patients (66.8%) died during the course of the study. Mean duration of follow-up was 8.5 +/- 7.23 (SD) years. Analyses were by intention to treat. Adjusting for age, general nonrenal health at inception, and time between identification and predialysis psychoeducational intervention or usual care, Cox proportional hazards multiple regression analyses indicated that median survival was 2.25 years longer after patients with CKD received predialysis psychoeducational interventions compared with usual care (chi-square-change  = 3.75; P = 0.053; hazard ratio, 1.32; 95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 1.74). Predialysis psychoeducational intervention recipients survived a median of 8.0 months longer than usual-care patients after the initiation of dialysis therapy (chi-square-change  = 4.39; P = 0.036; hazard ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.775). No significant survival advantage was evident for early referral to nephrology or the combination of early referral plus predialysis psychoeducational interventions.
Conclusion: Predialysis psychoeducational intervention is a safe and useful intervention that contributes valuably to multidisciplinary predialysis care.