Background. The purpose of the treatment and management of chronic renal failure during the predialysis period is mainly to retard the progression of the deterioration of renal function. Optimal dialysis initiation is important to improve the patient's outcome after therapy. We investigated whether providing information through an original educational program could facilitate dialysis initiation, with the patient in a better condition, and therefore greater cost-effectiveness. Methods. One hundred and seventy-six patients who underwent dialysis initiation for chronic renal failure in our hospital between April 2002 and March 2005 were divided into two groups according to their participation or nonparticipation in an educational program. Participation in the education program was of their own free will. The instructors consisted of nephrologists, nursing staff, clinical engineering technologists, national registered dietitians, and medical social workers. We investigated whether the education program facilitated trouble-free dialysis initiation by comparing findings of blood tests at the start, the existence of heart-failure symptoms, type of blood access, percentage of scheduled initiation, and the number of days and cost of hospitalization as indices between participating and nonparticipating groups. Results. The number of patients using a double-lumen dialysis catheter, and the duration and cost of hospitalization in training the participating group, were significantly less than those in the nonparticipating group. Although there was no significant difference in renal function at the initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) between the two groups, serum albumin, hemoglobin, and hematocrit in the participating group were significantly higher than those of the nonparticipating group. Conclusions. This study suggests that providing sufficient information before dialysis initiation may be effective in both physical condition at dialysis initiation, and medical economic benefits through the understanding of the dialysis.
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