Augustine Kang Wee Cheng wins Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD)

Augustine Kang’s honors thesis project recently won him the Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD)! His write-up for this research is provided below. Congratulations, Augustine!

The research that earned the Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD) was titled “Quality of Life & Emotional Adjustment in Peritoneal Dialysis vs. Hemodialysis: the Paradox of Higher Care Satisfaction in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients Despite higher Depression and Poorer Physical Health”. This was presented  at the 14th Congress of the ISPD from September 9th to 12th, 2012, in Kuala Lumpur, a biannual international meeting that bring together renal health care professionals, nephrologists, nurses and social workers that work in patient front care.

 The research thesis work brought up together data from two major research projects that Dr. Konstadina Griva spearheaded. The work provided first data on patient reported outcomes under different models of renal delivery outside tertiary centers, namely at home vs. community care. It is the first investigation to compare Quality-of-Life and emotional adjustment outcomes between patients on community-based Hemodialysis (HD) and Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) patients.

Based on a sample of 232 HD and 201 PD patients, the results not only confirmed marked impairments in quality of life in both dialysis modalities relative to general/healthy population, but also identified an interesting paradox: PD patients reported higher rates of depression and poorer physical health compared to community-based HD, yet they also expressed higher satisfaction with care and greater self efficacy in managing their illness. This pattern of results raises interesting questions as to what places patients on home dialysis (i.e. PD) at risk for emotional distress and how to best expand the existing models of renal care, which elicit high patient satisfaction to cater for the emotional needs of these patients.  There is the need explore more context of dialysis within the home environment in future research. The clinical implications highlight the importance of psychologists to work closely with nephrologists and their renal teams to identify early signs of emotional distress and provide support as needed.

Overall, the research project was identified as a major contribution to the area of psychosocial research by the ISPD and would not have been possible without the constant guidance from Dr. Griva.

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