Many Patients Receiving Dialysis in Centers Could Benefit from Home Treatment

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A study in the upcoming issue of Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that patients suffering from kidney failure may benefit from in-home dialysis treatment rather than receiving treatment in a center. As we’ve reported before, dialysis costs are a burden for many providers, especially hospitals. Patients who are able to receive treatment at home help unload some of the financial burden on these facilities.

Home Dialysis Treatment

Clinical Journal of the American Society of NephrologyHome dialysis is more convenient for patients. After being properly trained, usually by a dialysis technician, the patient can administer the treatment himself. In this report a study of 23,281 Australian patients were analyzed between 2000 and 2011. Australia has a universal healthcare system. Patients are able to choose their dialysis treatment option, so long as their health condition permits. The study looks at why some people choose home dialysis over dialysis in a center, or visa versa.

Leading the research was Blair Grace, PhD. The team of researchers specifically analyzed the connection between socioeconomic status and the use of home dialysis treatment. Some key points of the report are:

  • Patients in rural areas tended to use home dialysis more often.
  • Patients in advantaged areas were 37% less likely to use home dialysis and 19% more likely to obtain dialysis treatment in a center.
  • Patients from the most advantaged areas were 600% more likely to use private hospitals.

The study expected to find a correlation between a patient’s education and their dialysis treatment choice. Dr. Grace said, “We expected to find that patients with more education and financial resources were more likely to use peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis, as has been demonstrated in other countries.” Instead the study uncovered that people with more resources chose to receive dialysis treatment in a center more often.

The group plans to continue the study in hopes to identify why patients from advantaged areas choose private hospitals over home dialysis. Studies have shown that home dialysis is easier on the patient, causes less disruptions, and gets similar or better outcomes than in-center hemodialysis. One hypothesis is that patients feel more secure receiving dialysis in a formal setting.

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