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Peer Mentoring: Improving End-of-Life Planning for End-Stage Renal Patients and Families
This project, conducted by the National Kidney Foundation, studied the impact of a Peer Mentoring program in Michigan that trained volunteer dialysis or transplant patients to support other patients facing similar life challenges with chronic renal failure. It studied the impact of Peer Mentors on patients’ behavior, comfort level and knowledge of end-of-life planning in 23 Michigan dialysis units.
The study revealed that patients who were seen by Peer Mentors were more likely to complete advance directives, more likely to want to write them in the future and were more comfortable discussing them with staff. When the project was completed, its results prompted an increase in training for Peer Mentors in Michigan. The ESRD Workgroup recommended the development of peer mentoring programs such as this in dialysis unit facilities in its Recommendations to the Field.
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Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dedicated to long-term changes in health care institutions to substantially improve care for dying people and their families.