Due to their condition, dialysis patients have limited access to inpatient and outpatient mental health (MH) treatment. The primary goal of this project is to establish a patient–caregiver–clinician–researcher partnership to develop a patient-centered comparative effectiveness research study that will identify potentially effective mechanisms for increasing access to and utilization of MH treatment for dialysis patients. To begin, the two initial facilitators of this application, Cynthia Blitz, PhD—a social scientist with nearly two decades of community-based research expertise and a proven ability to initiate, facilitate, and sustain stakeholder partnerships—along with Seema Basi, MD—a practicing physician board certified in nephrology and a medical director at several dialysis units—will work together to recruit a stakeholder advisory group (20 to 30 individuals). The group will be composed of dialysis patients who currently receive MH treatment, their caregivers, representatives from the American Association of Kidney Patients and the National Kidney Foundation, representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, physicians (both nephrologists and psychiatrists), dialysis center administrators, inpatient psychiatric unit administrators, and researchers with expertise in community capacity-building. We will convene a research capacity-building meeting, with the goal to increase awareness and capacity in research methodology and questioning. Next, we will convene a stakeholders’ forum for exchanging information and perspectives about the problem and potential solutions; it will be followed by a two-day strategy workshop for formulating major research questions and devising a patient-centered research strategy. A final planning meeting will be dedicated to dividing contributions and responsibilities among all participants.
*All proposed projects, including requested budgets and project periods, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract.