Issue: 2011 > November/December > special article

Nurse practitioners improve quality of care in chronic kidney disease: two-year results of a randomised study

A.D. van Zuilen, P.J. Blankestijn, M. van Buren, M.A.G.J. ten Dam, K.A.H. Kaasjager, G. Ligtenberg, Y.W.J Sijpkens, H.E. Sluiter, P.J.G. van de Ven, G. Vervoort, L. Vleming, M.L. Bots, J.F.M. Wetzels


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated
with increased cardiovascular risk. Here we evaluate
whether strict implementation of guidelines aimed at
multiple targets with the aid of nurse practitioners (NP)
improves management in patients with CKD. Methods: MASTER PLAN is a randomised controlled clinical trial, performed in nine Dutch hospitals. Patients with CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 20-70 ml/min) were randomised to receive NP support (intervention group (IG)) or physician care (control group (CG)). Patients were followed for a median of five years. Presented data are an interim analysis on risk factor control at two-year follow-up. Results: We included 788 patients (532 M, 256 F), (393 CG, 395 IG), mean (±SD ) age 59 (±13) years, eGFR 38 (±15)
ml/min/1.73m2, blood pressure (BP) 138 (±21)/80 (±11)
mmHg. At two years 698 patients (352 IG, 346 CG) could
be analysed. IG as compared with CG had lower systolic (133 vs 135 mmHg; p= 0.04) and diastolic BP (77 vs 80 mmHg; p=0.007), LDL cholesterol (2.30 vs 2.45 mmol/l; p= 0.03), and increased use of ACE inhibitors, statins, aspirin and vitamin D. The intervention had no effect on smoking cessation, body weight, physical activity or sodium excretion. Conclusion: In both groups, risk factor management improved. However, changes in BP control, lipid management and medication use were more pronounced in IG than in CG. Lifestyle interventions were not effective. Coaching by NPs thus benefits everyday care of CKD patients. Whether these changes translate into improvement in clinical endpoints remains to be established.