ProCKD: exchanging good practices for the PROfessional integration of adults with Chronic Kidney Diseas. Patients with CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) or ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) face many barriers to remaining in or joining the workforce, especially after starting dialysis treatment. These barriers include poor employment opportunities because of disadvantaged socioeconomic status, fatigue and other symptoms of renal failure, depression and feelings of social isolation, comorbid diseases, transportation issues, potential loss of disability and/or medical assistance benefits with employment, scheduling conflicts with dialysis, and the assumption by some employers that patients on dialysis are too sick or undependable to work.
This societal perception that patients with ESRD are unable to work completes a vicious cycle of low expectations for employment. For employment-preserving strategies to succeed, there must be a fundamental change in the way that health care is delivered to vulnerable populations, with improved disease management and funding for the social services required to overcome the employment disincentives. Improving access to medical care, including early evaluation by a nephrologist; availability of home dialysis modalities; proper patient preparation, including integrated pre-dialysis education models; and encouraging vocational rehabilitation are possible interventions to assist patients in rejoining or remaining in the workforce.
The ProCKD project will focus on the needs and problems of patients from Spain, Turkey, Greece, and the Netherlands. More specifically the focus will be on how the working patients can continue their employment after initiation of dialysis, on how to be encouraged to continue training and education, and on how unemployed patients can be assisted in finding meaningful work. Understanding the factors influencing employability can help patients have a more fulfilling professional life.
We will share good relevant practises with our European partners and promote educational and professional reintegration of adults with chronic kidney disease by organising free webinars. The ProCKD project will serve as an educational program for adults with kidney disease and their caregivers. The good practices will be uploaded on the project website: www.prockd.eu and on our social media. We will use EPALE in each country (Spain, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey) for the dissemination of our project (e.g. blog posts, latest news & resources).
The work of each respective partner will be combined with joint work at the three transnational Project Meetings (TMP), viewed as milestones. Partners will jointly work in designing, developing and evaluating the outputs of the project. They will present their work, review the progress on targets and update the work plan, monitor the project development, budget and financial procedures, evaluation strategy and dissemination plan. Each TPM will kick off by a two hour focus group involving 3-5 kidney patients and their families. Co-production will be achieved by an inclusive working session with kidney patients and their view on employment based on their experience.
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