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Adv Perit Dial. 2003;19:163-7.

Promoting use of home dialysis.

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Nephrology Division, Department of Medicine, 4.200 John Sealy Annex, UTMB, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-0562, USA.


Despite overwhelming evidence of enhanced survival and quality of life among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients treated with home hemodialysis (HHD) and home peritoneal dialysis (PD), use of those two modalities is decreasing. Our analysis of data obtained over the past 6 years reveals that, at the same time as the national ESRD population has grown by more than 33%, the fraction of those patients on home dialysis has decreased by 36%. Similar trends are observable in the State of Texas. At our institution, the percentage of ESRD patients receiving home dialysis dropped by 52% in 6 years. Our capture rate during the same interval ranged from 1% to 9% (mean +/- standard deviation: 3.66% +/- 2.64%). To improve the capture rate and to strengthen our home dialysis program, we adopted these measures: Nephrologists participated in dialysis education and explained renal replacement therapy (RRT) options to each patient and to accompanying family members. The home dialysis coordinator later met with the patients individually. The new patients were then encouraged to meet with patients already enrolled in the home dialysis program. Finally, patients choosing home dialysis were given a questionnaire to rank their reasons for selecting that modality. From April 2001 to July 2002, we initiated 136 patients onto dialysis. Of those patients, 118 selected in-center hemodialysis and 18 chose home dialysis, representing a capture rate of 13% and resultant growth of 117% in our home dialysis program. Our survey revealed that the prime reason for selection of home dialysis was independence (31%), followed by physician guidance, coordinator education, and work schedule (17% each). Familial assistance, familial employment, and privacy were less important (7%, 7%, and 3% respectively). We conclude that, by devoting more time to patient education and discussion of RRTs, nephrologists and dialysis coordinators can significantly increase home dialysis enrollment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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