Peer mentorship to improve outcomes in patients on hemodialysis (PEER-HD): a randomized controlled trial protocol

Ladan Golestaneh, Michal Melamed, Ryung S. Kim, Jennifer St. Clair Russell, Michele Heisler, Lisandra Villalba, Taylor Perry, Kerri L. Cavanaugh

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Patients receiving in-center hemodialysis experience disproportionate morbidity and incur high healthcare-related costs. Much of this cost stems from potentially avoidable hospitalizations. Peer mentorship has been used effectively to improve outcomes for patients with complex chronic diseases. We propose testing the efficacy of peer mentorship on hospitalization rates among patients receiving hemodialysis. Methods: This is a multicenter parallel group randomized controlled pragmatic trial of patients treated at hemodialysis facilities in Bronx, NY and Nashville, TN. The study has two phases. Phase 1 will enroll and train 16 hemodialysis patients (10 in Bronx, NY and 6 in Nashville TN) to be mentors using a program focused on enhancing self-efficacy, dialysis self-management and autonomy-supportive communication skills. Phase 2 will enroll 200 high risk adults receiving hemodialysis (140 in Bronx, NY and 60 in Nashville, TN), half of whom will be randomized to intervention and half to usual care. Intervention participants are assigned to weekly telephone calls with trained mentors (see Phase 1) for a 3-month period. The primary outcome of Phase 1 will be engagement of mentors with training and change in knowledge scores and autonomy skills from pre- to post-training. The primary outcome of Phase 2 will be the composite count of ED visits and hospitalizations at the end of study follow-up in patient participants assigned to intervention as compared to those assigned to usual care. Secondary outcomes for Phase 2 include the change over the trial period in validated survey scores measuring perception of social support and self-efficacy, and dialysis adherence metrics, among intervention participants as compared to usual care participants. Discussion: The PEER-HD study will test the feasibility and efficacy of a pragmatic peer-mentorship program designed for patients receiving hemodialysis on ED visit and hospitalization rates. If effective, peer-mentorship holds promise as a scalable patient-centered intervention to decrease hospital resource utilization, and by extension morbidity and cost, for patients receiving maintenance in-center hemodialysis. Trial registration: identifier: NCT03595748; 7/23/2018. Trial sponsor: National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) 5R18DK118471. Funding: Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease: R18DK118471. Study status: This is an ongoing study and not complete. We are still collecting data for observational follow-up on participants. Related articles: No related articles for this study have been submitted to any journal. The study sponsor and funders had no role in the design, analysis or interpretation of this data. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number92
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Clinical trial
  • Hemodialysis patients
  • Hospitalization
  • Peer mentorship
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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