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Ping Liu, PhD

Award:  KRESCENT New Investigator Award
Institution: University of Calgary
Year: 2023-2026

Study title: Promoting shared decision-making for people with advanced CKD

Dr. Ping Liu is an Epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. After her clinical training in Nursing and a Master of Medical Science in Nursing (China), she completed a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Western Australia (Australia) and a CIHR-funded postdoctoral program at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Liu’s research goal is to improve the experience and quality of life of people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) by generating high-quality evidence that will inform their treatment decisions. She has contributed to the development and testing of a novel risk prediction tool for people with moderate-to-severe CKD. Her current research focuses on designing and testing risk prediction tools to inform kidney failure treatment decisions for people with advanced CKD. She is also interested in methods of risk prediction and defining CKD and kidney failure.

Lay Summary
Many people with kidney failure have a poor quality of life and a high risk of dying. Some people require dialysis when they are diagnosed, while others have time to decide whether and how they would wish to have treatment for kidney failure. These are difficult decisions, and accurate information about the chances of survival would help people make choices that reflect what they prefer and value. Patients and their healthcare teams may use calculators called prediction tools to identify the risk of important health events. Unfortunately, there is a lack of appropriate prediction tools to help people decide how to treat kidney failure and its complications. The goal of my research program is to create tools that accurately predict the chances of survival with kidney failure for individual patients.
First, I will use healthcare data of Alberta residents with kidney failure to study what happens to them over time. I will then arrange meetings to get the perspectives of patients and their caregivers, healthcare providers, and health system leaders from Alberta and present this information in an accessible way. In these meetings, we will discuss how to build a tool that accurately calculates the chances of survival for a person with kidney failure. Based on data on how people with kidney failure survive with their disease, and the feedback from these meetings, I will create two separate prediction tools: one for people with kidney failure who start dialysis and one for people with kidney failure not receiving replacement therapy. Finally, I will evaluate how accurate these tools are when used in people who live in other jurisdictions (Ontario, Denmark, and Scotland).  These studies will inform discussions between people with kidney failure and care providers and help patients make better-informed decisions about the management of their disease.