23. Walk & Talk, a program to stimulate an active lifestyle after kidney transplantation

J.W. van der Heijden, E.A. Hartman, A. van den Berg, C. Schrauwers

Thursday 5 march 2020

0:00 - 0:00h at Toon Hermans Foyer

Parallel session: Postersessie 5 – Klinische en Verpleegkundige abstracts

Background: In Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, we focus on self-management of patients after kidney transplantation. We train patients in interpretation of lab results, blood pressure values and we discuss possible (lifestyle) interventions with them. Patients in this program experience irrefutable benefit of the training, possibly resulting in better therapy compliance. However, we frequently observe post-transplantation physical inactivity, weight gain and new-onset diabetes, compromising a healthy lifestyle. We also are aware of many patients seeking for peer-contact, to get advice or to share transplantation related experiences. We therefore designed the ‘Walk & Talk program’.

Methods: The program: Every Sunday morning a group of (new) transplanted patients go out for a walk, accompanied by a trained patient guide (called: ‘koploper’) at a fixed location (for the current pilot: the ‘Amsterdamse Bos’). ‘Koplopers’ are trained by members of the medical team. During the walk, patients are encouraged to share experiences and provide each other with ‘tips and tricks’. Once a month, one of the members of the medical team (dietician, transplant coordinator or nephrologist) joins the walk to provide extra education and to stimulate an active lifestyle of the respective patients. The program is further supported by the ‘Kidney Box’, given to the patients shortly after transplantation. This box contains information about the program, healthy recipes, a bottle of water, sunscreen and a medication box. In parallel, a website and app are currently being developed to share practical information on the walks and the educational program. Since kidney transplantation patients are referred from several hospitals from across Noord-Holland, a second walking group will be initiated in Alkmaar at the beginning of 2020. We would like to share our experiences with other transplant clinics to accomplish a national Walk & Talk program, providing added value in post-transplant care.

Results: The Walk and Talk program started in september 2019 in Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. Currently, we are finetuning the program in collaboration with enthousiastic transplant patients.

Conclusions: The first Walk & Talk program has started at the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, to support a healthy and more active lifestyle of patients after kidney transplantation. The program has the potential to be implemented around all Dutch transplant clinics, resulting in a national program with uniformity in training and support.