The kidney score platform for patient and clinician awareness, communication, and management of kidney disease: Protocol for a mixed methods study

Delphine S. Tuot, Susan T. Crowley, Lois A. Katz, Joseph Leung, Delly K. Alcantara-Cadillo, Christopher Ruser, Elizabeth Talbot-Montgomery, Joseph A. Vassalotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Patient awareness, clinician detection, and management of chronic kidney disease remain suboptimal, despite clinical practice guidelines and diverse education programs. Objective: This protocol describes a study to develop and investigate the impact of the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Score Platform on chronic kidney disease awareness, communication, and management, by leveraging the Behavior Change Wheel, an implementation science framework that helps identify behavioral intervention targets and functions that address barriers to behavior change. Methods: We interviewed 20 patients with chronic kidney disease and 11 clinicians to identify patient and clinician behaviors suitable for intervention and barriers to behavior change (eg, limited awareness of chronic kidney disease clinical practice guidelines within primary care settings, limited data analytics to highlight chronic kidney disease care gaps, asymptomatic nature of chronic kidney disease in conjunction with patient reliance on primary care clinicians to determine risk and order kidney testing). Leveraging the Behavior Change Wheel, the Kidney Score Platform was developed with a patient-facing online Risk Calculator and a clinician-facing Clinical Practice Toolkit. The Risk Calculator utilizes risk predictive analytics to provide interactive health information tailored to an individual’s chronic kidney disease risk and health status. The Clinical Practice Toolkit assists clinicians in discussing chronic kidney disease with individuals at risk for and with kidney disease and in managing their patient population with chronic kidney disease. The Kidney Score Platform will be tested in 2 Veterans Affairs primary health care settings using a pre–post study design. Outcomes will include changes in patient self-efficacy for chronic kidney disease management (primary outcome), quality of communication with clinicians about chronic kidney disease, and practitioners’ knowledge of chronic kidney disease guidelines. Process outcomes will identify usability and adoption of different elements of the Kidney Score Platform using qualitative and quantitative methods. Results: As of September 2020, usability studies are underway with veterans and clinicians to refine the patient-facing components of the Kidney Score Platform before study initiation. Results and subsequent changes to the Kidney Score Platform will be published at a later date. The study is expected to be completed by December 2021. Conclusions: Results of this study will be used to inform integration of the Kidney Score Platform within primary care settings so that it can serve as a central component of the National Kidney Foundation public awareness campaign to educate, engage, and empower individuals at risk for and living with chronic kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22024
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Awareness
  • Behavioral change wheel, RE-AIM
  • CKD
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Implementation science


Dive into the research topics of 'The kidney score platform for patient and clinician awareness, communication, and management of kidney disease: Protocol for a mixed methods study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this