Internet-based tools to assess diet and provide feedback in chronic kidney disease stage IV: a pilot study.J Ren Nutr. 2013 Mar; 23(2):e33-42.JR
Successfully changing patients' dietary behavior is a challenging problem in the management of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We conducted a pilot study to test the feasibility and acceptability of an Internet-based, self-administered, dietary assessment tool equipped with instructional feedback, aimed at facilitating dietary adherence to disease-specific nutritional guidelines among CKD stage IV patients while reducing resource burdens on providers.
Focus groups were used to develop a user-friendly dietary reporting format. The report was then calibrated to the dietary guidelines outlined by Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) and incorporated into the assessment tool. Elements of the report were developed based on the "transtheoretical model of behavior change" theory, aimed at facilitating patients to enter the action stage of change. The tool was later deployed in a nephrology care site at an academic medical center, where 12 patients diagnosed with stage IV CKD (late-stage, predialysis) completed a dietary assessment before their provider encounter as well as questionnaires gauging their computer literacy, nutritional education history, nutritional knowledge and awareness, and acceptability of the tool. The report was made available to the provider during the clinical encounter, and both patient and physician perception of the report's utility was assessed after the encounter.
Approximately 25% to 30% of the patients were severely noncompliant to the K/DOQI guidelines for each nutrient. Awareness about the role of diet in CKD management was widely variable, ranging from 0% to 58% of the patients over different nutrients. All of the patients successfully completed the Web-based dietary assessment. Eighty-four percent of the patients positively rated the tool on its ability to record the patients' dietary data, 58% noted the tool was always able to satisfactorily estimate portion sizes, and 50% thought the navigation was easy or very easy. Eleven of the 12 patients were satisfied with the time taken (range: 10 to 40 minutes, median time: 20 minutes) to complete the dietary assessment. Patients and physicians differed considerably in their perception of the use of the report during the clinical encounter.
Dietary knowledge and adherence to K/DOQI guidelines among CKD patients is suboptimal. However, interest and motivation is high. Web-based tools are well accepted among CKD patients as an aid to assessing dietary adherence to K/DOQI guidelines and may pose a cost-effective approach to bridging the adherence gap.