Investigation of the Level of Kidney Disease Understanding among Incidental Chronic Kidney Disease Patients in Taiwan

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Sue-Hsien Chen, MS, RN
Nursing Department, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelug, Taiwan, R.O.C, Keelung, Taiwan
Yun-Fang Tsai, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: Early identification and aggressive treatment of CKD patients may improve patient outcomes such as cardiovascular function, quality of life, and morbidity mortality.

Learning Objective 2: increase clinical responsibilities within today’s practice setting, and their role in managing CKD patients may increase in the future.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem. CKD usually progresses without obvious symptoms, and early medical intervention, is helpful in preventing the progression of CKD. A solid understanding of the disease is a key factor in fulfilling a full life and implementing a proper drug regimen. We investigated the current status of disease understanding among CKD patients.


This cross-sectional study used a structured questionnaire. All subjects were recruited from a community hospital. Because of a need for nephrologist referral, criteria for inclusion were set to include only subjects whom nephrologist had rated at a CKD stage between 2 and 5. The questionnaire targeted respondents’ understanding of CKD, and included physical activity, smoking status, and dietary habits.


The study surveyed 55 incidental patients with CKD. Nearly half of the patients had CKD symptoms. Symptom degree correlated positively with degree of daily life disturbance (p<0.05). Only eight patients restricted salt in their diet. Those patients who had previously obtained information of CKD had better scores on CKD knowledge compared to those who did not (t=5.68, p<.01). Twenty-four patients thought that CKD was not a significant illness due to the subtleness of symptoms. Ironically, thirty-nine patients thought that the disease would be life threatening if not properly brought under control. Most patients expressed an intention to ignore or deny disease progress.


Disease understanding among incidental CKD patients in Taiwan is far from satisfactory. Such suggests a through educational program may be necessary for this group.