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      Invited manuscript poster on renal-related education American Society of Nephrology, Nov. 16-21, 2010. Adolescents with chronic kidney disease and their need for online peer mentoring: a qualitative investigation of social support and healthcare transition.

      Renal Failure

      Transition to Adult Care, Adolescent, Social Support, Peer Group, Male, therapy, Kidney Failure, Chronic, Internet, Humans, Female

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          Adolescents with chronic kidney disease (CKD) tend to be isolated from peers who also have CKD, develop non-adherent behavior with treatment recommendations, and consequently are at higher risk for poor health outcomes such as transplant rejection. At the same time, patients in this age group tend to be technologically savvy and well-versed in using Internet-based communication tools to connect with other people. In this study, we conducted semi-structured interviews among adolescents with CKD to assess their information needs and their interest in using a CKD-oriented peer-mentoring website that we are developing, We interviewed 17 adolescents with CKD, ages 14-18 years old, to learn about (1) any concerns regarding transition from pediatric to adult care teams; and (2) their interest in using the Internet as a source for disease-related information and as a social networking tool for finding and interacting with their peers. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and qualitatively analyzed. Results showed that (1) the adolescent participants are commonly concerned about transitioning to an adult clinic; (2) they are isolated from peers with the same medical condition who are of similar age; (3) they are frequent Facebook users and are highly interested in exploring the possibility of using an online community website, such as, to discover and communicate with peers and peer mentors; and (4) there exist divergent opinions regarding if an online community of adolescent CKD patients should be open to the public.

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