Project Lead

Professor David Castle

Full Bio

Lead partner

St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne


Austin Health; The University of Melbourne

Project summary

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Depression and anxiety are associated with poorer quality of life and functional capacity in CKD, including higher rates of mortality, hospitalisation, dialysis withdrawal and double the rate of kidney transplant rejection. Presently, there is a treatment gap in the prevention or management of these psychosocial problems in CKD.

The Kidney Optimal Health Program (KOHP) is an 8-session program that provides a framework for improving both the psychosocial and mental health of individuals. It has been proven to result in significant reductions in mental health symptoms in patients with mental health disorders and can be delivered to patients in both rural and metropolitan areas.

Preliminary analysis indicates that individuals who participated in the original program displayed clinically meaningful decreases in levels of depression and anxiety and used comparatively fewer health services. The KOHP will expand by developing strategies to engage primary care providers in the program and mapping cognitive function in participants to assess the impact of program engagement.


This project is supported by the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the Rapid Applied Research Translation program.

The program aims to offer an effective psychosocial intervention that addresses the mental and functional health of CKD patients.