Dr Danielle Kirkman on the Integration of Exercise Into the CKD Care Plan

Including an exercise physiologist or physical therapist on a multidisciplinary nephrology care team can make it easier to include exercise as part of routine care for chronic kidney disease (CKD), said Danielle Kirkman, PhD, assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

How can a nephrology care team integrate exercise into the care plan for CKD?
It’s well established that the nephrology care team is very multidisciplinary; we have dieticians, we have social workers involved, we have pharmacists, we have the attending nephrologist. One thing that does seem to be missing in this multidisciplinary team is an exercise physiologist or a physical therapist [PT], so there’s certainly a role for that position within the multidisciplinary team.

It’s been reported previously that one of the barriers to actually implementing exercise into routine care is that the care team doesn’t feel very confident on how to prescribe exercise. If we did have an exercise physiologist or a PT within that team, patients could be referred on to the specialist to provide very individualized exercise prescription.
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