SPIRIT trial: A phase III pragmatic trial of an advance care planning intervention in ESRD. Academic Article uri icon


  • Advance care planning (ACP) is a central tenet of dialysis care, but the vast majority of dialysis patients report never engaging in ACP discussions with their care providers. Over the last decade, we have developed and iteratively tested SPIRIT (Sharing Patient's Illness Representation to Increase Trust), a theory-based, patient- and family-centered advance care planning intervention. SPIRIT is a six-step, two-session, face-to-face intervention to promote cognitive and emotional preparation for end-of-life decision making for patients with ESRD and their surrogates. In these explanatory trials, SPIRIT was delivered by trained research nurses. Findings consistently revealed that patients and surrogates in SPIRIT showed significant improvement in preparedness for end-of-life decision making, and surrogates in SPIRIT reported significantly improved post-bereavement psychological outcomes after the patient's death compared to a no treatment comparison condition. As a critical next step, we are conducting an effectiveness-implementation study. This study is a multicenter, clinic-level cluster randomized pragmatic trial to evaluate the effectiveness of SPIRIT delivered by dialysis care providers as part of routine care in free-standing outpatient dialysis clinics, compared to usual care plus delayed SPIRIT implementation. Simultaneously, we will evaluate the implementation of SPIRIT, including sustainability. We will recruit 400 dyads of patients at high risk of death in the next year and their surrogates from 30 dialysis clinics in four states. This trial of SPIRIT will generate novel, meaningful insights about improving ACP in dialysis care.ClinicalTrials.govNCT03138564, registered 05/01/2017.Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • December 2018