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Results of a novel screening tool measuring dietary sodium knowledge in patients with chronic kidney disease



Reducing dietary sodium has potential to benefit patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Little research is available defining dietary sodium knowledge gaps in patients with pre-dialysis CKD. We designed a brief screening tool to rapidly identify patient knowledge gaps related to dietary sodium for patients with CKD not yet on dialysis.


A Short Sodium Knowledge Survey (SSKS) was developed and administered to patients with pre-dialysis CKD. We also asked patients if they received counseling on dietary sodium reduction and about recommended intake limits. We performed logistic regression to examine the association between sodium knowledge and patient characteristics. Characteristics of patients who answered all SSKS questions correctly were compared to those who did not.


One-hundred fifty-five patients were surveyed. The mean (SD) age was 56.6 (15.1) years, 84 (54%) were men, and 119 (77%) were white. Sixty-seven patients (43.2%) correctly identified their daily intake sodium limit. Fifty-eight (37.4%) were unable to answer all survey questions correctly. In analysis adjusted for age, sex, race, education, health literacy, CKD stage, self-reported hypertension and attendance in a kidney education class, women and patients of non-white race had lower odds of correctly answering survey questions (0.36 [0.16,0.81]; p = 0.01 women versus men and 0.33 [0.14,0.76]; p = 0.01 non-white versus white, respectively).


Our survey provides a mechanism to quickly identify dietary sodium knowledge gaps in patients with CKD. Women and patients of non-white race may have knowledge barriers impeding adherence to sodium reduction advice.

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