Project Overview

The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing in Canada with prevalence rates reaching up to 12.5% (3 million Canadian adults), and 3.1% (0.73 million adults) for stages 3-5. Advanced CKD requiring dialysis is expensive and is associated with poor health outcomes and quality of life. To report symptom burden and quality of life adjusted-survival alongside clinical and laboratory measures, it is imperative to measure and report what is important to patients.

Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) could be used to capture patients’ experiences of symptoms and impact of disease on functioning, and can support clinicians to monitor disease progression and facilitate patient-centered care. While evidence suggests that the use of PROMs in clinical practice have a positive impact, the impact on health outcomes and experiences is not fully understood, and their cost-effectiveness in clinical settings is unknown. This research aims fill these gaps by evaluating the impact of routinely measuring and reporting to care providers of PROMs on patient-reported experience and outcomes, clinical outcomes, and healthcare utilization.

EMPATHY: Patient-reported outcomes clustered RCT

Project lead(s):

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, Dr. Michael Walsh

Research theme(s):

Quality of Life, Symptom Management

Project video

Visual Abstract

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The EMPATHY team trial has developed resources for clinicians and nurses in managing symptoms:

Patient Handouts on CKD Symptoms:

Symptom Guidelines for Clinicians:


  • A cluster randomized controlled trial for the Evaluation of routinely Measured PATient reported outcomes in HemodialYsis care (EMPATHY): a study protocol

    BMC Health Services Research

    Johnson JA, Al Sayah F, Buzinski R, Corradetti B, Davison SN, Elliott MJ, Klarenbach S, Manns B, Schick-Makaroff K, Short H, Thomas C, Walsh M

  • Implementing a Patient-Reported Outcome Measure for Hemodialysis Patients in Routine Clinical Care: Perspectives of Patients and Providers on ESAS-r:Renal

    Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

    Evans JM, Glazer A, Lum R, Heale E, MacKinnon M, Blake PG, Walsh M

  • How the Routine Use of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures for Hemodialysis Care Influences Patient-Clinician Communication

    Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

    Schick-Makaroff K, Wozniak LA, Short H, Davison SN, Klarenbach S, Buzinski R, Walsh M, Johnson JA

  • Burden of mental health symptoms and perceptions of their management in in-centre hemodialysis care: a mixed methods study

    Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes

    Schick-Makaroff K, Wozniak LA, Short H, Davison SN, Klarenbach S, Buzinski R, Walsh M, Johnson JA

  • Mapping the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System-Revised: Renal to the EQ-5D-5L in patients with chronic kidney disease

    Quality of Life Research

    Wen J, Jin X, Al Sayah F, Short H, Ohinmaa A, Davison SN, Walsh M, Johnson JA

  • Patient-reported outcome measures in the care of in-centre hemodialysis patients

    Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes

    Davison S, Klarenbach S, Manns B, Schnick-Makaroff K, Buzinski R, Corradetti B, Short H, Johnson J

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