Training sessions for healthcare professionals at European dialysis units on how to promote a healthy lifestyle among their patients

Succinct recommendations on how to preserve and promote a healthy lifestyle for patients on hemodialysis were created by the GoodRENal group. The group is an international multidisciplinary group comprising nephrologists, a specialist in sports medicine, a dietician, a physiotherapist, psychologists and computer scientists. The overall aim is to educate healthcare professionals, patients and their informal caregivers on how to best pursue physical activity and a healthy and safe diet as well as to stimulate cognition and emotional well-being.  Physicians and nursing staff were the focus of this educational activity.

In most countries there is a shortage of nursing staff giving little time to take staff away from the dialysis unit for formal lectures. A new method was developed with short educational “micro-sessions” with a duration of about 10 minutes. There were three training sessions: physical activity, nutrition and cognition and emotional well-being. Depending on local resources nurses and physiotherapists were trained to present the recommendations using 7-8 plasticized A4 cards per subject and session. Small groups of nursing staff ranging between 2 and 5 people at a time could sit in the dialysis ward during a lull in their work and learn. This method was met with enthusiasm and enjoyment. Physicians received a traditional PowerPoint lecture.

GoodRENal is funded by the Erasmus+ program and produces tools for a holistic treatment of subjects undertaking hemodialysis. It promotes a healthy lifestyle among these patients.