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Direct Delivery of Kidney Transplant Education to Black and Low-Income Patients Receiving Dialysis: A Randomized Controlled Trial


Rationale & objective

Compared with others, black and low-income patients receiving dialysis are less likely to receive kidney transplantation (KT) education within dialysis centers. We examined the efficacy of 2 supplementary KT education approaches delivered directly to patients.

Study design

Prospective, 3-arm parallel-group, randomized, controlled trial.

Settings & participants

Adult, black, and white low-income patients receiving dialysis in Missouri.


Patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 educational conditions: (1) standard of care, usual KT education provided in dialysis centers (control); (2) Explore Transplant @ Home patient-guided, 4 modules of KT education sent directly to patients using print, video, and text messages; and (3) Explore Transplant @ Home educator-guided, the patient-guided intervention plus 4 telephonic discussions with an educator.


Primary: patient knowledge of living (LDKT) and deceased donor KT (DDKT). Secondary: informed decision making, change in attitudes in favor of LDKT and DDKT, and change in the number of new steps taken toward KT.


In intent-to-treat analyses, patients randomly assigned to educator- and patient-guided interventions had greater knowledge gains (1.4 point increase) than control patients (0.8 point increase; P=0.02 and P=0.01, respectively). Compared with control patients, more patients randomly assigned to educator- and patient-guided interventions were able to make informed decisions about starting KT evaluation (82% vs 91% and 95%; P=0.003), pursuing DDKT (70% vs 84% and 84%; P=0.003), and pursuing LDKT (73% vs 91% and 92%; P<0.001).


Potential contamination because of patient-level randomization; no assessment of clinical end points.


Education presented directly to dialysis patients, with or without coaching by telephone, increased dialysis patients' KT knowledge and informed decision making without increasing educational burden on providers.

Funding source

This project was funded by the National Institutes of Health and Health Resources and Services Administration.

Trial registration

Registered at with study number NCT02268682.

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