Background: Targets for peritoneal dialysis (PD) utilization may be difficult to achieve because many older patients have contraindications to PD or barriers to self-care. The objectives of this study were to determine the impact that contraindications and barriers to self-care have on incident PD use, and to determine whether family support increased PD utilization when home care support is available.
Methods: Consecutive incident dialysis patients were assessed for PD eligibility, offered PD if eligible and followed up for PD use. All patients lived in regions where home care assistance was available.
Results: The average patient age was 66 years. One hundred and ten (22%) of the 497 patients had absolute medical or social contraindications to PD. Of the remaining 387 patients who were potentially eligible for PD, 245 (63%) had at least one physical or cognitive barrier to self-care PD. Patients with barriers were older, weighed less and were more likely to be female, start dialysis as an inpatient and have a history of vascular disease, cardiac disease and cancer. Family support was associated with an increase in PD eligibility from 63% to 80% (P = 0.003) and PD choice from 40% to 57% (P = 0.03) in patients with barriers to self-care. Family support increased incidence PD utilization from 23% to 39% among patients with barriers to self-care (P = 0.009). When family support was available, 34% received family-assisted PD, 47% received home care-assisted PD, 12% received both family- and home care-assisted PD, and 7% performed only self-care PD. Incident PD use in an incident end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population was 30% (147 of the 497 patients).
Conclusions: Contraindications, barriers to self-care and the availability of family support are important drivers of PD utilization in the incident ESRD population even when home assistance is available. These factors should be considered when setting targets for PD.