Analysis of patient flow into dialysis: role of education in choice of dialysis modality

Belén Marrón, Juan Carlos Martínez Ocaña, Mercedes Salgueira, Guillermina Barril, José M Lamas, Marisa Martín, Tomás Sierra, Ana Rodríguez-Carmona, Amparo Soldevilla, Francisco Martínez et al.
Peritoneal Dialysis International 2005, 25: S56-9

BACKGROUND: Despite advances in predialysis care, morbidity and mortality remain high.

OBJECTIVES: To analyze end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patient demographics and clinical data on education on dialysis treatment options, type of chronic renal replacement therapy (RRT), and effects of planned versus non-planned dialysis start.

METHODS: 621 patients, from 24 Spanish hospitals, who started RRT in 2002. Peritoneal or vascular access at dialysis initiation was considered "planned."

RESULTS: 304 (49%) patients were non-planned and half of them had prior nephrology follow-up. Of the patients with >3 months nephrology follow-up (76% of all), only half were educated on dialysis modalities. Dialysis education was associated with planned start in 73.4% versus 26% in non-educated patients (p < 0.05), shorter follow-up (55 vs 65 months, p = 0.033), more medical visits in the prior year (6.5 vs 4.4, *p < 0.001), more patients starting peritoneal dialysis (31% vs 8.3%*), and more specific follow-up by ESRD unit versus general nephrology care (63% vs 26%*). Non-planned start was associated with older age (63 vs 60.6 years, p = 0.06), fewer medical visits (4.6 vs 6.4*), less education about modality options, and greater use of hemodialysis (92% vs 75%*). Planned patients had better biochemical parameters at start of dialysis.

CONCLUSION: Despite nephrology follow-up, half the patients did not have a planned dialysis start. Planned start was associated with better clinical status. More patients chose peritoneal dialysis when educated about dialysis modality options. ESRD-specific units were more likely to provide patient education.

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