Project HELP: A study protocol to pilot test a shared decision-making tool about treatment options for patients with hepatitis C and chronic kidney disease

M. C. Politi, N. George, T. Li, K. M. Korenblat, K. J. Fowler, C. Ho, A. Liapakis, D. Roth, J. Yee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Recent advances in treatment have given patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) access to safer and more effective medications to treat comorbid hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Given the variety and complexity of treatment options that depend on patients' clinical characteristics and personal preferences, education and decision support are needed to prepare patients better to discuss treatment options with their clinicians. Methods: Drawing on International Patient Decision Aids Standards guidelines, literature reviews, and guidance from a diverse expert advisory group of nephrologists, hepatologists, and patients, we will develop and test a HCV and CKD decision support tool. Named Project HELP (Helping Empower Liver and kidney Patients), this tool will support patients with HCV and CKD during decisions about whether, when, and how to treat each illness. The tool will (1) explain information using plain language and graphics; (2) provide a step-by-step process for thinking about treating HCV and CKD; (3) tailor relevant information to each user by asking about the individual's stage of CKD, stage of fibrosis, prior treatment, and comorbidities; (4) assess user knowledge and values for treatment choices; and (5) help individuals use and consider information appropriate to their values and needs to discuss with a clinician. A pilot study including 70 individuals will evaluate the tool's efficacy, usability, and likelihood of using it in clinical practice. Eligibility criteria will include individuals who understand and read English, who are at least 18 years old, have a diagnosis of HCV (any genotype) and CKD (any stage), and are considering treatment options. Discussion: This study can identify particular characteristics of individuals or groups that might experience challenges initiating treatment for HCV in the CKD population. This tool could provide a resource to facilitate patient-clinician discussions regarding HCV and CKD treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 25 2018


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Decision aids
  • Decision support
  • Health communication
  • Hepatitis C
  • Patient centered


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