Targeted nutrition education improves outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease

10/Jul/2019     Health

Research undertaken at Mater has shown that implementation of targeted nutrition education and training to improve outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) can reduce the prevalence of malnutrition by 8 per cent.

Nutrition care is vital for all people with CKD to assist with management of fluid balance, mineral and bone disorders and to prevent and manage protein-energy wasting which increases morbidity and mortality.

In Australia, prevalence of CKD is around 10 per cent which equates to approximately 1.7 million Australian adults1

With the introduction of a new renal dialysis service at Mater, the Dietetics and Nutrition team developed an evidence-based approach to improve patient outcomes.

Mater Director Dietetics and Food Services Sally McCray said the research was an example of establishing a new dietetics service from the ground up.

“Our research shows that using an evidence-based focus and utilising implementation science, we were able to translate research into practice frameworks and processes to improve patient outcomes,” Ms McCray said.

“By undertaking a literature review of best practice, we were able to develop targeted nutrition education and training interventions for staff and clearly define dietetic service processes and procedures to ensure patients were seen at least every six months for review.

“Key interventions that were developed included training, local resource development and a working database embedding monitoring and evaluation of outcome measures to ensure maintenance of nutrition status over 18 months.

Key outcomes of the research showed a reduced prevalence of malnutrition in patients with CKD from 28 per cent at baseline to 20 per cent at 12 months, training in renal nutrition to 148 nurses and the development of procedures and resources tailored to the local service needs.

“As Mater focuses on evidence and research underpinning all that we do with low variability across clinical services this research provides an excellent example of how a new service should be established, utilising the current best evidence and research and translating into practice processes,” Ms McCray said.

“The results ensure patients receive best practice and evidence-based care with demonstrated beneficial clinical outcomes. At the same time, we can be confident that our service is as efficient and effective as possible.

“Mater Nutrition and Dietetics is committed to evidence-based practice and being a national leader in health service research in the area of dietetics.”

This research was originally presented at 2017 Queensland Dietitians ‘My Translation Rules’, winning the “Education” Award  and is published in the journal Nutrition and Dietetics—'Establishing an evidenced‐based dietetic model of care in haemodialysis using implementation science’—as part of its “Evidence based practice in nutrition and dietetics: Translating evidence into practice” edition (April 2019).

The full journal article can be viewed at:


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