Development of a Telehealth Intervention to Improve Access to Live Donor Kidney Transplantation

A. N. Cabacungan, Clarissa Diamantidis, J. St. Clair Russell, T. S. Strigo, I. Pounds, A. Alkon, J. A. Riley, M. Falkovic, J. F. Pendergast, C. A. Davenport, M. J. Ellis, D. L. Sudan, F. Hill-Briggs, T. Browne, P. L. Ephraim, L. E. Boulware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Live donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) is underutilized by patients with end-stage kidney disease due to knowledge, communication, and logistical barriers. Material and Methods: The Talking About Live Kidney Donation Social Worker Intervention (TALK-SWI) is a previously validated intervention demonstrated to improve patients' access to and pursuit of LDKT through in-person delivery of education and social support. To help overcome logistical barriers to LDKT, we adapted TALK-SWI into a telehealth intervention employing digital (ie, tablet, smartphone) and telephone technologies. We studied the usability and acceptability of both the mobile device and telephone counseling portions of the intervention among people with kidney disease. For the digital portion, we assessed critical (ie, inability to complete a task) and non-critical (ie, ability to complete a task utilizing an alternative method) errors participants encountered when using the program and their preferences regarding digital materials. Simultaneously, we assessed participants' satisfaction with telephone-adapted counseling compared to the original, in-person counseling. Results: The 15 participants testing the digital technology made 25 critical errors and 29 non-critical errors, while they easily completed 156 tasks (out of 210). A majority of participants (73%) preferred the tablet/smart phone education application over traditional materials, and most (80%) indicated they would be more likely to utilize the mobile platform over traditional materials. Participants testing the telephone-adapted (n = 45) and in-person (n = 125) social worker counseling all reported high satisfaction with the intervention. Conclusion: We successfully adapted a validated educational and behavioral intervention to improve access to LDKT into a usable and acceptable telehealth intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-675
Number of pages11
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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