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Kidney Int. 2003 Sep;64(3):1004-11.

The quality of life and cost utility of home nocturnal and conventional in-center hemodialysis.

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Department of Medicine, Home Dialysis Clinic, Inner City Health Research Unit, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Home nocturnal hemodialysis is an intensive form of hemodialysis, where patients perform their treatments at home for about 7 hours approximately 6 nights a week. Compared with in-center conventional hemodialysis, home nocturnal hemodialysis has been shown to improve physiologic parameters and reduce health care costs; however, the effects on quality of life and cost utility are less clear. We hypothesized that individuals performing home nocturnal hemodialysis would have a higher quality of life and superior cost utility than in-center hemodialysis patients.


Home nocturnal hemodialysis patients and a demographically similar group of in-center hemodialysis patients from a hospital without a home hemodialysis program underwent computer-assisted interviews to assess their utility score for current health by the standard gamble method.


Nineteen in-center hemodialysis and 24 home nocturnal hemodialysis patients were interviewed. Mean annual costs for home nocturnal hemodialysis were about 10,000 dollars lower for home nocturnal hemodialysis (55,139 dollars +/- 7651 dollars for home nocturnal hemodialysis vs. 66,367 dollars +/- 17,502 dollars for in-center hemodialysis, P = 0.03). Home nocturnal hemodialysis was associated with a higher utility score than in-center hemodialysis (0.77 +/- 0.23 vs. 0.53 +/- 0.35, P = 0.03). The cost utility for home nocturnal hemodialysis was 71,443 dollars/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY), while for in-center hemodialysis it was 125,845 dollars/QALY. Home nocturnal hemodialysis was the dominant strategy, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of -45,932 dollars. The 95% CI for the ICER, and 2500 bootstrap iterations of the ICER all fell below the cost-effectiveness ceiling of 50,000 dollars. The net monetary benefit of home nocturnal hemodialysis ranged from 11,227 dollars to 35,669 dollars.


Home nocturnal hemodialysis is associated with a higher quality of life and a superior cost utility when compared to in-center hemodialysis.

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