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Janine Farragher, PhD

Supervisor: Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn
Award: KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Institution: University of Calgary
Year:  2019-2022

Study title: A Pilot randomized control trial of the PEP Program for Adults on Chronic Dialysis with Fatigue

Dr. Janine Farragher is an occupational therapist and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Calgary, where she is supervised by Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn. Dr. Farragher completed her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto, where her dissertation focused on fatigue in people with kidney disease who undergo dialysis. Fatigue is a very common symptom of kidney disease, which can interfere with people’s ability to live their lives to the fullest.
Lay Summary
People who have kidney failure (ESRD) often feel unusually tired, which interferes with their ability to live life normally. During her doctoral degree, Dr. Farragher has created a program (The PEP Program) that teaches people with ESRD how they can manage their energy during their everyday life, using strategies like prioritizing, organizing home and work spaces, and using good body postures. These techniques have been found to help people who have fatigue because of other illnesses (eg. multiple sclerosis) but haven't been tested for people with ESRD. A large study is needed to see whether the PEP program is helpful for people with ESRD, but first, Dr. Farragher will need to do a smaller-scale practice (or pilot) study to help plan this large study.
The purpose of this practice study is to see whether people with ESRD are able to do the PEP program, to see what they think of the program, and to see how many people need to be included in the large study. She plans to invite 40 people with ESRD from dialysis units across Calgary, Alberta to participate. People with ESRD who report feeling unusually tired a lot of the time (based on a symptom assessment tool completed every 2 months) will be asked to take part in the study. People who agree will either do the PEP program, or another program that gives them general information about kidney disease. She will measure whether the PEP program helps people feel less tired, by asking them to complete questionnaires before and after the study. She will also interview people after they participate in the study, to learn what they think. This practice study will help plan next steps for the PEP program, with an aim to improve the lives of people with kidney failure.