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1.  Selecting renal replacement therapies: what do African American and non-African American patients and their families think others should know? A mixed methods study 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:9.
Background
Little is known regarding the types of information African American and non-African American patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and their families need to inform renal replacement therapy (RRT) decisions.
Methods
In 20 structured group interviews, we elicited views of African American and non-African American patients with CKD and their families about factors that should be addressed in educational materials informing patients’ RRT selection decisions. We asked participants to select factors from a list and obtained their open-ended feedback.
Results
Ten groups of patients (5 African American, 5 non-African American; total 68 individuals) and ten groups of family members (5 African American, 5 non-African American; total 62 individuals) participated. Patients and families had a range (none to extensive) of experiences with various RRTs. Patients identified morbidity or mortality, autonomy, treatment delivery, and symptoms as important factors to address. Family members identified similar factors but also cited the effects of RRT decisions on patients’ psychological well-being and finances. Views of African American and non-African American participants were largely similar.
Conclusions
Educational resources addressing the influence of RRT selection on patients’ morbidity and mortality, autonomy, treatment delivery, and symptoms could help patients and their families select RRT options closely aligned with their values. Including information about the influence of RRT selection on patients’ personal relationships and finances could enhance resources’ cultural relevance for African Americans.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-9
PMCID: PMC3565884  PMID: 23317336
Decision-making; Renal replacement therapy; Family members; African American
2.  Development of a decision aid to inform patients’ and families’ renal replacement therapy selection decisions 
Background
Few educational resources have been developed to inform patients’ renal replacement therapy (RRT) selection decisions. Patients progressing toward end stage renal disease (ESRD) must decide among multiple treatment options with varying characteristics. Complex information about treatments must be adequately conveyed to patients with different educational backgrounds and informational needs. Decisions about treatment options also require family input, as families often participate in patients’ treatment and support patients’ decisions. We describe the development, design, and preliminary evaluation of an informational, evidence-based, and patient-and family-centered decision aid for patients with ESRD and varying levels of health literacy, health numeracy, and cognitive function.
Methods
We designed a decision aid comprising a complementary video and informational handbook. We based our development process on data previously obtained from qualitative focus groups and systematic literature reviews. We simultaneously developed the video and handbook in “stages.” For the video, stages included (1) directed interviews with culturally appropriate patients and families and preliminary script development, (2) video production, and (3) screening the video with patients and their families. For the handbook, stages comprised (1) preliminary content design, (2) a mixed-methods pilot study among diverse patients to assess comprehension of handbook material, and (3) screening the handbook with patients and their families.
Results
The video and handbook both addressed potential benefits and trade-offs of treatment selections. The 50-minute video consisted of demographically diverse patients and their families describing their positive and negative experiences with selecting a treatment option. The video also incorporated health professionals’ testimonials regarding various considerations that might influence patients’ and families’ treatment selections. The handbook was comprised of written words, pictures of patients and health care providers, and diagrams describing the findings and quality of scientific studies comparing treatments. The handbook text was written at a 4th to 6th grade reading level. Pilot study results demonstrated that a majority of patients could understand information presented in the handbook. Patient and families screening the nearly completed video and handbook reviewed the materials favorably.
Conclusions
This rigorously designed decision aid may help patients and families make informed decisions about their treatment options for RRT that are well aligned with their values.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-140
PMCID: PMC3560257  PMID: 23198793
Kidney disease; Decision aid; Literacy; Numeracy; Cognitive function
3.  The providing resources to enhance African American patients’ readiness to make decisions about kidney disease (PREPARED) study: protocol of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:135.
Background
Living related kidney transplantation (LRT) is underutilized, particularly among African Americans. The effectiveness of informational and financial interventions to enhance informed decision-making among African Americans with end stage renal disease (ESRD) and improve rates of LRT is unknown.
Methods/design
We report the protocol of the Providing Resources to Enhance African American Patients’ Readiness to Make Decisions about Kidney Disease (PREPARED) Study, a two-phase study utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methods to design and test the effectiveness of informational (focused on shared decision-making) and financial interventions to overcome barriers to pursuit of LRT among African American patients and their families. Study Phase I involved the evidence-based development of informational materials as well as a financial intervention to enhance African American patients’ and families’ proficiency in shared decision-making regarding LRT. In Study Phase 2, we are currently conducting a randomized controlled trial in which patients with new-onset ESRD receive 1) usual dialysis care by their nephrologists, 2) the informational intervention (educational video and handbook), or 3) the informational intervention in addition to the option of participating in a live kidney donor financial assistance program. The primary outcome of the randomized controlled trial will include patients’ self-reported rates of consideration of LRT (including family discussions of LRT, patient-physician discussions of LRT, and identification of a LRT donor).
Discussion
Results from the PREPARED study will provide needed evidence on ways to enhance the decision to pursue LRT among African American patients with ESRD.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01439516
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-135
PMCID: PMC3489555  PMID: 23057616
Shared decision-making; Live kidney transplantation; Live kidney donation; Chronic kidney disease; End stage renal disease

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