Impact of Exercise Counseling on Physical Function in Chronic Kidney Disease: An Observational Study

Clara J. Bohm, Leroy J. Storsley, Brett M. Hiebert, Serena Nelko, Navdeep Tangri, Lawrence J. Cheskin, Mara A. McAdams-DeMarco, Claudio Rigatto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have low levels of physical activity and physical function. Although guidelines endorse exercise counseling for individuals with CKD, it is not yet part of routine care. Objective: We investigated the effect of attending a real-life exercise counseling clinic (ECC) on physical function in individuals with CKD. Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected observational data with quasi-experimental design. Setting and Participants: Patients with all stages of CKD registered in a large provincial renal program were eligible. The exposed cohort who attended the ECC between January 1, 2011, and March 15, 2014, included 214 individuals. The control cohort included 292 individuals enrolled in an observational study investigating longitudinal change in frailty during the same time period. Predictor/Factor: Attendance at an ECC. Outcomes and Measurements: Change in physical function as measured by Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score, physical activity level (Human Activity Profile [HAP]/Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly [PASE]), and health-related quality of life (HRQOL; EQ5D/VAS) over 1 year. Results: Eighty-seven individuals in the ECC cohort and 125 participants in the control cohort completed 1-year follow-up. Baseline median SPPB score was 10 (interquartile range [IQR]: 9-12) and 9 (IQR: 7-11) in the ECC and control cohorts, respectively (P <.01). At 1 year, SPPB scores were 10 (IQR: 8-12) and 9 (IQR: 6-11) in the ECC and control cohorts, respectively (P =.04). Mean change in SPPB over 1 year was not significantly different between groups: −0.33 (95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.81 to 0.15) in ECC and −0.22 (95% CI: −0.61 to 0.17) in control (P =.72). There was no significant difference in the proportion of individuals in each cohort with an increase/decrease in SPPB score over time. There was no significant change in physical activity or HRQOL over time between groups. Limitations: Quasi-experimental design, low rate of follow-up attendance. Conclusions: In this pragmatic study, exercise counseling had no significant effect on change in SPPB score, suggesting that a single exercise counseling session alone is inadequate to improve physical function in CKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCanadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease
StatePublished - Feb 16 2018


  • chronic kidney disease
  • exercise
  • exercise counseling
  • functional status
  • health promotion
  • health-related quality of life
  • physical activity
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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