“Positive Kidney Health”: Implementation and design of a pharmacist-led intervention for patients at risk for development or progression of chronic kidney disease

Amanda Vu, Susanne B. Nicholas, Amy D. Waterman, Ruth Madievsky, Felicia Cheng, Janet Chon, Jeffery Y. Fu, Carol M. Mangione, Keith C. Norris, O. Kenrik Duru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with early chronic kidney disease (CKD) or underlying risk factors are often unaware of their kidney test results, common causes of CKD, and ways to lower risk of disease onset/progression. Objective: To test feasibility of a pharmacist-led intervention targeting patient education and risk factors in patients with early CKD and those at risk for CKD. Practice description: Ambulatory care pharmacists in community-based primary care clinics delivered kidney health education, ordered labs, and recommended medication adjustments. Practice innovation: We identified patients with a moderate rate of decline (≥2 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year) in estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) at-risk for CKD or early stage CKD. An interactive workbook was designed to teach patients about kidney test results and self-management of risk factors including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cigarette smoking, and chronic oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. Evaluation methods: Outcomes included visit uptake, completion of annual albuminuria screening, and initiation of guideline-directed medications for CKD. Patients were surveyed pre- and post-intervention for kidney health knowledge and perceptions regarding pharmacist-provided information. Results: Our sample of 20 participants had a mean eGFR of 59 mL/min/1.73 m2 and the mean eGFR decline was −4.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year. There were 47 visits during the pilot period from February 2021 to October 2021. Thirteen patients were missing albuminuria screening within 12 months; 2 of 9 patients with resulting labs had new microalbuminuria and were started on renoprotective medications. Patients had improved understanding of their kidney function test results and most did not consider the information scary or confusing. Conclusion: Barriers to enrollment included fewer participants with multiple risk factors for CKD. The pharmacists were able to engage patients in learning the importance of monitoring and self-management of kidney health. A collaborative practice agreement may enhance a similar intervention that includes initiation of renoprotective medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-689
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • Humans
  • Pharmacists
  • Albuminuria/prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Kidney
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/diagnosis
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Disease Progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacology


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