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The GOAL Trial: Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment for Frail Older People with Chronic Kidney Disease to Increase Attainment of Patient-Identified Goals: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial

Doctors and researchers in the GOAL trial are studying how to improve the health and wellbeing of older frail people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The number of patients with CKD is increasing in Australia and worldwide. Older patients with CKD are often more frail and have complex health problems. We know that everyone has different needs and goals, and each person should get care or treatment suitable for that person.

The GOAL trial is aiming to find if a detailed medical review by a geriatrician (a specialist doctor in the care of older people) can help patients improve their health and wellbeing and achieve their goals. This detailed medical review is called a ‘Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment’.

Professor Ruth Hubbard

This trial focuses on improving the health of frail older people with chronic kidney disease, and helping them reach their own goals of care. It is designed and overseen by a group of researchers, patients, and carers. We aim to generate evidence that will inform health care policy and guidelines. The input of patients and carers will ensure that results of our study are relevant and important to patients themselves.

Professor Ruth Hubbard, Coordinating Principal Investigator

What does the GOAL trial involve for participants?

All GOAL study participants set goals when they join the study. These goals are something that are important to participants. These goals will be reviewed at 3, 6, and 12 months. Participants also complete a short health questionnaire and frailty status check at the four study visits over 12 months.

The GOAL trial will be recruiting 500 participants across 16 hospitals in Australia. Participants from 8 sites will receive a review by a geriatrician and participants from the other 8 sites will receive their usual care. We will compare achievement of goals and health and wellbeing between the two groups. The study is now open to recruitment.

Which hospitals are taking part in the GOAL trial?

*Not all listed hospitals have started yet. 2 more hospitals will start in the GOAL trial soon.

As a primary carer of frail elderly family members with CKD, I had grown accustomed to accepting care decisions that the health system made for them. GOAL is a unique study of interest to me as it is about empowering frail elderly people to achieve those goals that matter most to them and improving their quality of life. 

Chandana Guha, Consumer Advisory Board Representative

Who can take part in the study?

Adults aged over 65 years or over 55 years if Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander with CKD stages 3 to 5 including dialysis who are current patients at participating hospitals. The study team will measure frailty status using a short test to check people can take part in the study.

To find more about this study, email goal@uq.edu.au

Study team and funding

Professor Ruth Hubbard from the University of Queensland is the Principal Investigator.

Andrea Valks is the Clinical Project Manager and Ema Kalaw is the Clinical Research Associate for this study.

The National Health and Medical Research Council is funding this research.

Trial Number: AKTN 20.1

ClinicalTrials.gov – link

Trial Steering Committee

Andrea Viecelli
Donna Reidlinger
Elaine Pascoe
Jason Pole
Laura Hickey
Len Gray
Matthew Jose
Ruth Hubbard
David Johnson
Kim-Huong Nguyen
Nicki Scholes-Robertson
Emily Gordon
Kevan Polkinghorne
Allison Tong
Dimity Pond
Monika Janda
Carmel Hawley
Janet Bailey
Misa Matsuyama
Julie Varghese

Consumer Advisory Board

We’d like to acknowledge and thank all the GOAL Trial Consumer Advisory Board members for their contribution and support towards the trial.