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Towards a better uptake of home dialysis in Europe: understanding the present and looking to the future.

Use of peritoneal dialysis and home haemodialysis remains low in Europe, with the highest use in Scandinavian countries and the lowest in Eastern and Central Europe despite the advantages for people on dialysis and economic advantages for healthcare systems. This is partly due to the impact of the haemodialysis industry resulting in proliferation of haemodialysis units and nephrologist reimbursement related to use of haemodialysis. Equally important is the bias against home dialysis at both clinician and healthcare system levels. The underlying causes of this bias are discussed in relation to a mechanistic view of the human body, lack of compassion, failure to adjust dialysis provision for older age and frailty, proliferation of small dialysis centres, and complexity of decision-making and clinical care. For home dialysis to flourish, we need to foster a change in attitude to and vision of the aims of healthcare so that enabling meaningful activities of people requiring dialysis, as explored in the Standardized Outcomes in Nephrology initiative, rather than achieving biological numbers become the focus of care delivery.

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