P GHEEWALA1, G PETERSON1, TR ZAIDI1, M JOSE1, 2, R CASTELINO1,3
1Faculty of Health, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania; 2Department of Nephrology, Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, Tasmania; 3Sydney Nursing School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales
Aim: To determine the knowledge about chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the Australian public.
Background: Screening programs for CKD may help to address the CKD burden in Australia. Public awareness of CKD is an important determinant of the uptake of screening programs. However, data on the Australian public knowledge of CKD is lacking.
Methods: Phase 1: We developed and validated the CKD knowledge questionnaire by recruiting three groups of participants: public (n = 121), final year undergraduate pharmacy students (n = 28) and nephrologists (n = 27). Participants could achieve a maximum score of 24 on the questionnaire.
Phase 2: We conducted a cross-sectional survey using the validated questionnaire to determine the CKD knowledge of the Australian public (n = 943). We performed a standard multiple regression analysis to identify predictors of the public knowledge.
Results: Phase 1: The median CKD knowledge scores of the public, students and nephrologists were 12, 19 and 23, respectively, with statistically significant differences in the scores across the three groups (p < 0.001; Kruskal-Wallis test). The Cronbach’s alpha for the questionnaire was 0.88, indicating good reliability.
Phase 2: Participants’ mean (SD) age was 47.6 (±16.6) years and 51.2% were female. The mean (SD) knowledge score of the Australian public was 10.34 (± 5.0). In the multivariate analysis, the statistically significant predictors of the knowledge score were level of education, marital status (lower scores in those who were single/never married), a family history of kidney failure and a personal history of diabetes.
Conclusions: The Australian public knowledge about CKD was relatively poor. Improving public knowledge may increase early detection and enhance management of CKD.