Rutgers College of Nursing professor to test exercise program for older individuals with CKD

NEWARK, N.J. -- The National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health awarded a two-year $154,000 grant to a Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member to test the effects of a 12-week home-based exercise intervention program on older adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) requiring long-term dialysis treatments. The study will also evaluate the feasibility of the research plan for a larger clinical trial.

"Physical functioning is a major problem for individuals with chronic kidney disease and has a devastating impact on older adults with this condition," said Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins, assistant professor at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "Older individuals with CKD have not been targeted for inclusion in most physical activity intervention studies."

Sixty men and women from six New Jersey-based hemodialysis facilities will be recruited for the study. Research assistants will ask these participants, 60 years old and older, such questions as their level of physical activity and their confidence in their ability to exercise.

"Participants will be trained to perform low to moderate intensity exercise," said Thomas-Hawkins, a Burlington, N.J. resident. "For example, walking will be the exercise of choice to increase their cardiovascular fitness. They will also be trained to do chair exercises, use therabands, and other low-intensity exercise to increase their muscle strength and flexibility. This study will help determine if the research plan and study procedures are feasible for a larger, randomized controlled trial."

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EDITOR'S NOTE: A photo of Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins, a Burlington, N.J. resident, is available at http://nursing.rutgers.edu/files/pictures/hawkins.jpg

From its headquarters at Rutgers Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master's program with unique practitioner specialties and the first to offer a doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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