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Physical activity, rehabilitation and wellbeing

People living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) need to be able to live well with their condition. To achieve this, physical rehabilitation (physical activity advice and provision of exercise programmes) and psychosocial rehabilitation (psychological, psychiatric, and social care interventions) is required.

Physical activity is encouraged in people living with CKD. National CKD Guidelines on Exercise and Lifestyle in Chronic Kidney Disease recommend physical activity for all non-dialysis CKD patients, haemodialysis patients, and transplant patients, as long as patients are without contraindications and have stable, controlled comorbidities. Benefits may include improved physical function, enhanced health-related quality of life, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Physical activity may positively impact wellbeing, but specific psychosocial management is also often required by people living with CKD. Interventions include NHS talking therapies, psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, liaison psychiatry, and effective social prescribing.

However, there is inequality in patient access to physical and psychosocial rehabilitation management. Many people living with CKD remain sedentary and their wellbeing remains poor. To enhance health and wellbeing of patients and their families living with CKD, evidence generation through research, support and advocacy for patients and the renal multidisciplinary team, and renal care quality improvement initiatives are all required.

Who we are

The Physical Activity, Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Group (PARW) is chaired jointly by Pelly Koufaki, Jamie Macdonald and Vicky Pursey.

Our multi-professional group has members from a wide range of disciplines across the UK. We meet bi-annually to discuss, support and facilitate research initiatives, that address physical activity behaviours and well-being of all people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Jamie Macdonald

Jamie Macdonald. Professor in Sport and Exercise Science, Institute for Applied Human Physiology, School of Psychology and Sport Sciences, Bangor University.

Dr Pelagia Koufaki

Pelly Koufaki. Reader in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, Queen Margaret University.

Vicky Pursey, ACS Physio in Renal Rehab & Renal Physio Outpatients,
York Hospital

Vicky Pursey. ACS Physio in Renal Rehab and Renal Physio Outpatients, York Hospital.



Our mission, objectives and strategy:


About our work

Ongoing studies:

Completed studies:

Studies in development:

Investigating the impact of paediatric kidney transplantation on physical activity, quality of life, cardiometabolic health and psychosocial adjustment: a longitudinal, cohort, feasibility study. Led by Pelly Koufaki in collaboration with researchers and clinicians in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester.

Various studies are in development at the Leicester Kidney Lifestyle Team. Further details are available.


Selected publications

An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed of physical activity and rehabilitation publications produced by an author affiliated with an institution based in the United Kingdom is available below.

An RSS feed is an online file that contains details about every piece of content a website has published. In this case, each time PubMed publishes a new article meeting certain search terms, it will be included in the feed.

RSS Physical Activity, Rehabilitation and Wellbeing group RSS feed

Got a question? Get in touch.

For more information and to find out about getting involved as a patient or researcher, contact:

01248 383272

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