Comprehensive Acute Kidney Injury Survivor Care: Protocol for the Randomized Acute Kidney Injury in Care Transitions Pilot Trial

JMIR Res Protoc. 2023 May 22:12:e48109. doi: 10.2196/48109.


Background: Innovative care models are needed to address gaps in kidney care follow-up among acute kidney injury (AKI) survivors. We developed the multidisciplinary AKI in Care Transitions (ACT) program, which embeds post-AKI care in patients' primary care clinic.

Objective: The objective of this randomized pilot trial is to test the feasibility and acceptability of the ACT program and study protocol, including recruitment and retention, procedures, and outcome measures.

Methods: The study will be conducted at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, a tertiary care center with a local primary care practice. Individuals who are included have stage 3 AKI during their hospitalization, do not require dialysis at discharge, have a local primary care provider, and are discharged to their home. Patients unable or unwilling to provide informed consent and recipients of any transplant within 100 days of enrollment are excluded. Consented patients are randomized to receive the intervention (ie, ACT program) or usual care. The ACT program intervention includes predischarge kidney health education from nurses and coordinated postdischarge laboratory monitoring (serum creatinine and urine protein assessment) and follow-up with a primary care provider and pharmacist within 14 days. The usual care group receives no specific study-related intervention, and any aspects of AKI care are at the direction of the treating team. This study will examine the feasibility of the ACT program, including recruitment, randomization and retention in a trial setting, and intervention fidelity. The feasibility and acceptability of participating in the ACT program will also be examined in qualitative interviews with patients and staff and through surveys. Qualitative interviews will be deductively and inductively coded and themes compared across data types. Observations of clinical encounters will be examined for discussion and care plans related to kidney health. Descriptive analyses will summarize quantitative measures of the feasibility and acceptability of ACT. Participants' knowledge about kidney health, quality of life, and process outcomes (eg, type and timing of laboratory assessments) will be described for both groups. Clinical outcomes (eg, unplanned rehospitalization) up to 12 months will be compared with Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: This study received funding from the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality on April 21, 2021, and was approved by the Institutional Review Board on December 14, 2021. As of March 14, 2023, seventeen participants each have been enrolled in the intervention and usual care groups.

Conclusions: Feasible and generalizable AKI survivor care delivery models are needed to improve care processes and health outcomes. This pilot trial will test the ACT program, which uses a multidisciplinary model focused on primary care to address this gap.

Trial registration: NCT05184894;

International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/48109.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; acute renal failure; care transitions; chronic kidney disease; nephrologists; randomized controlled trials.

Associated data