Patient knowledge of chronic kidney disease (CKD), associated risk factors and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle for the management of CKD is poor.

Patient education programmes have been shown to be successful in increasing knowledge, extending time to dialysis and improving quality of life in patients with CKD.  However, few education programmes have targeted physical activity and we have previously shown that patients require education and support to perform self-directed exercise.

The PEArL (Programmes to encourage exercise and active lifestyles) study is a non-randomised pilot intervention study. Kidney patients are invited to take part in a self-directed physical activity programme which is delivered in either a group or a one-on-one session, both supported with written materials. The programmes are designed to provide participants with the required knowledge and motivation to start increasing their daily activity to a level which is suitable for them (for example, up to 30 minutes, five days per week).

Participants are asked to self-monitor their physical activity using a pedometer and diary. Assessments are conducted before and after the 8-week programme and include measures of physical activity, physical function, psychological determinants of exercise, knowledge, perceptions of illness and quality of life.

We hope to assess the feasibility of evidence based, theory driven and self-directed behaviour change programmes to increase levels of physical activity in patients with kidney disease. If appropriate this intervention will then go on to be tested as a randomised controlled trial.


  • The study is currently recruiting at Leicester General Hospital.