Project for a Pilot Study for a Narrative Nephrology Clinic: A Bio-Psycho-Social Approach to Chronic Kidney Disease


  • Alessandro Toccafondi SOSD Psicologia Clinica in servizio presso SOC Nefrologia e Dialisi Firenze 2 ASLTC, Firenze - Italia
  • Leonardo Mari Farmacia, Ospedale Borgo San Lorenzo, USL Toscana Centro, Firenze - Italia
  • Umberto Caraccia Coordinatore Ambulatorio di Medicina Narrativa ASL Rieti, Rieti - Italia
  • Silvia Lapini OSD Psicologia Clinica, ASLTC, Firenze - Italia
  • Pietro Dattolo SOC Nefrologia e Dialisi Firenze 2, ASLTC, Firenze - Italia
  • Claudia Capanni Direzione Sanitaria Firenze 2, ASLTC, Firenze - Italia
  • Stefania Polvani Sociologa, Azienda USL Toscana Sud-Est, Presidente Società Italiana di Medicina Narrativa (SIMeN), Arezzo - Italia
  • Marco Lombardi SOS Nefrologia e Dialisi, ASLTC Ospedale del Mugello, Borgo San Lorenzo, Firenze - Italia



Depression, Narrative medicine, Patient’s compliance, Pre-dialysis, Quality of Life


Introduction: Poor medication adherence in CKD patients is associated with high mortality and morbidity and can reach up to 80%. The most effective interventions to increase patients’ adherence to treatments are conducted by a multi-professional team and with the active participation of patients and their families. Narrative evidence-based medicine has been proved as a useful methodology in the care of chronic patients also in promoting their adherence to treatments.

Methods: Around 50-70% of CKD patients treated in our centre will follow clinical protocol based on a narrative medicine approach: (1) patients will be invited to write a brief history related to their experience with the CKD and treatments; (2) screening for depression (HADS; PHQ-9); (3) intervention of pharmaceutical counselling aimed to explore patients’ behaviours about taking their medications; (4) sharing of decision-making: the results of the narrative histories and of questionnaires will be discussed with the patients; (5) psychoeducational groups.

Results: The pilot phase of the project will last 6 months. During these months, patients will be monitored for biochemical (e.g. anemia) and anthropometric (e.g. blood pressure) parameters and depression. Medical visits or diagnostic tests missed by patients will also be recorded.

Conclusions: The development of an active role of patients in taking care of themselves is one of the main challenge of clinical nephrology. The present project aims to implement in the clinical routine a protocol based on the narrative medicine approach in which the biological, psychological and social needs of CKD patients are considered and discussed with them.


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How to Cite

Toccafondi, A., Mari, L., Caraccia, U., Lapini, S., Dattolo, P., Capanni, C., Polvani, S., & Lombardi, M. (2020). Project for a Pilot Study for a Narrative Nephrology Clinic: A Bio-Psycho-Social Approach to Chronic Kidney Disease. Giornale Di Clinica Nefrologica E Dialisi, 32(1), 53–57.
Received 2020-03-21
Accepted 2020-03-30
Published 2020-04-27


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