HCN News & Notes

Springfield College’s Samuel Headley Leads Clinical Trial

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College Professor of Exercise Science and Sports Studies Samuel Headley, along with nephrologist Dr. Michael Germain from Renal and Transplant Associates of New England (RTANE), are leading a clinical trial that is focused on the impact of lifestyle interventions on key functional measures and quality of life in a sample of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.

During this sixth-month study, the focus will be to determine what effect a comprehensive and individualized lifestyle intervention program has on an individual’s short physical performance battery (SPPB) and other indices of physical function. The intervention program includes dietary, exercise, pharmacy, and behavioral counseling on patient performance of the SPPB, which gives an indication of an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living dependent upon lower extremity function. Additional objectives include the impact of the intervention on cardiovascular risk factors.

The research group hypothesizes that patients who participate in this integrated, intensive, individualized lifestyle intervention will have higher SPPB scores compared to individuals in the usual care group. The research will also aim to demonstrate that this approach will lead to higher adherence rates to the lifestyle recommendations, and those who adhere will also show better improvements in the measured variables over time compared to patients who are randomly assigned to the usual care group or who comply poorly with the various study components.

A total of 45 stage 3 and 4 CKD patients will be randomized to either the intervention or usual care group, and will be tested at baseline, one month, three months, and six months. Individuals randomized to the intervention group will be encouraged to consume a plant-based diet.

This study is a collaboration between RTANE and Springfield College. A team of researchers including Dr. Richard Wood, Dr. Jasmin Hutchinson, and Dr. Brian Thompson are conducting the work at Springfield College. The study coordinators are Jennifer Siddall and Kristen Dempsey, and retired professor Dr. Beth Evans serves as the major recruiter for this study. In addition, Dr. Courtney Doyle-Campbell and Dr. Marissa Wolfe from Western New England University are assisting with the medication management in this study.