On July 21, 2017, the Kidney Health Education and Research Group was pleased to take part in an interview at OMNI Television Ontario for an upcoming feature on OMNI’s Focus Cantonese program, hosted by anchor Kenneth Li and to be televised over the course of two episodes.
First to speak was pediatric nephrologist Dr. Keith Lau, Professor at the University of Hong Kong and Medical Director of Shenzen Hospital’s International Medical Center. Dr. Lau discussed the benefits of kidney transplantation and particularly living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) for individuals with end-stage renal disease. He outlined some differences between the Canadian and Chinese healthcare systems and provided context on the barriers Chinese patients face in accessing optimal treatments for renal failure in both countries. As our group’s research has confirmed, some of these barriers include a lack of knowledge about treatment options such as LDKT, as well as myths and misconceptions regarding organ transplants and their impact on donors and recipients. Dr. Lau noted that patients in the Chinese community have historically been less likely than other cultural groups to pursue kidney transplants, and that efforts are under way to educate Chinese patients about their transplant options.
Patients in the Chinese community, both in China and in Canada, have been less likely than other cultural groups to pursue kidney transplantation. The Kidney Health Education and Research Group’s research seeks both to understand and to reduce the barriers to transplant faced by these individuals.
Next, research coordinator Dorothy Wong spoke about our group’s recent Explore Transplant Ontario (ETO) pilot patient education program, an intervention that has been used to help address knowledge-based barriers to kidney transplantation among patients living with end-stage kidney disease. In this study, the Explore Transplant Ontario patient education program on KT and LDKT, originally developed by Dr. Amy Waterman and adapted for an Ontario context, were introduced on a pilot basis in Humber River Hospital’s dialysis unit. Ms. Wong went on to describe the upcoming stages of our research on overcoming barriers to LDKT faced by Canadians of Chinese ethnicity, which will involve:
- Administering a survey on LDKT to Chinese community members
- Organizing focus groups in which members of the Chinese community can talk in depth about their experiences, values, and beliefs in relation to kidney disease and transplantation
- Creating a culturally competent education package about kidney disease and kidney transplantation for the Chinese community that will be made available in Chinese and English
- Pilot-testing this ‘Chinese Kidney Guide’ among Chinese Canadians with chronic kidney disease, in a manner similar to the ETO pilot study at Humber River Hospital
Ms. Wong described the Kidney Health Education and Research Group’s goals to secure funders and potential research partners such as long-term care homes serving the Chinese community, in order to promote kidney and transplant education among Chinese seniors in Ontario. She also encouraged students and community members who are interested in our team’s health equity work to consider volunteering with us.
We would like to thank OMNI for giving us this opportunity to share information on kidney transplantation with members of the Chinese community in Canada.