Research study on older couples & hemodialysis at Boston College

Research study on older couples & hemodialysis at Boston College


CHESTNUT HILL, MA—Researchers at Boston College are conducting a study focused on patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and their spouses. Funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research, this five-year study focuses on the ways in which patients and spouses make decisions about medical care.

Information gained from the study is expected to be used to increase understanding of the impact of dialysis on couples and their wishes for the future, and also provide direction for improvements in quality of care to both patients and their spouses/partners.

People who have participated in the study report that they have enjoyed speaking with the interviewers about their thoughts, feelings and decisions. According to one renal social worker, some couples who have participated have improved communication with each other and with dialysis center staff. In addition, many participants have expressed that it is satisfying to help other ESRD patients and their spouses.

Rachel Pruchno, Ph.D., a Boston College research psychologist and director of the Initiatives on Aging, is the principal investigator. Norman G. Levinsky, M.D., a nephrologist at Boston University Medical Center, is the co-investigator.

The researchers are seeking 300 couples to volunteer to join the study. To be eligible, both partners must agree to participate. Patients must be 55 or older and on hemodialysis for at least six months. Couples must be married or living with their partner for five years or more.

The study involves interviews only. Those who agree to be in the study will participate in confidential telephone interviews four times over a three-year period.

To learn more about the study, please call Jennifer Rosenbaum toll-free at 1-866-772-3387.

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