PREhabilitation of CAndidates for REnal Transplantation (PreCareTx) study: protocol for a hybrid type I, mixed method, randomised controlled trial

PreCareTx Investigators, Evelien E Quint, Avril J Haanstra, Yvonne van der Veen, Heleen Maring, Stefan P Berger, Adelita Ranchor, Stephan J L Bakker, Evelyn Finnema, Robert A Pol, Coby Annema*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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INTRODUCTION: Kidney transplant candidates (KTCs) need to be in optimal physical and psychological condition prior to surgery. However, KTCs often experience compromised functional capacity which can be characterised as frailty. Prehabilitation, the enhancement of a person's functional capacity, may be an effective intervention to improve the health status of KTCs. The PREhabilitation of CAndidates for REnal Transplantation (PreCareTx) study aims to examine the effectiveness of a multimodal prehabilitation programme on the health status of KTCs, and to explore the potential of implementation of prehabilitation in daily clinical practice.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study uses a single centre, effectiveness-implementation hybrid type I study design, comprised of a randomised controlled trial and a mixed-methods study. Adult patients who are currently on the transplant waiting list or are waitlisted during the study period, at a university medical centre in The Netherlands, will be randomly assigned to either prehabilitation (n=64) or care as usual (n=64) groups. The prehabilitation group will undergo a 12-week home-based, tailored prehabilitation programme consisting of physical and/or nutritional and/or psychosocial interventions depending on the participant's deficits. This programme will be followed by a 12-week maintenance programme in order to enhance the incorporation of the interventions into daily life. The primary endpoint of this study is a change in frailty status as a proxy for health status. Secondary endpoints include changes in physical fitness, nutritional status, psychological well-being, quality of life and clinical outcomes. Tertiary endpoints include the safety, feasibility and acceptability of the prehabilitation programme, and the barriers and facilitators for further implementation.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Medical ethical approval was granted by the Medical Ethics Committee Groningen, Netherlands (M22.421). Written informed consent will be obtained from all participants. The results will be disseminated at international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere072805
Number of pages28
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27-Jul-2023


  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Frailty/rehabilitation
  • Preoperative Exercise
  • Quality of Life
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Physical Fitness
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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