Dialysis modality preference of patients with CKD and family caregivers: a discrete-choice study

Am J Kidney Dis. 2012 Jul;60(1):102-11. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.12.030. Epub 2012 Mar 13.


Background: Dialysis modality preferences of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and family caregivers are important, yet rarely quantified.

Study design: Prospective, unlabeled, discrete-choice experiment with random-parameter logit analysis.

Setting & participants: Adults with stages 3-5 CKD and caregivers educated about dialysis treatment options from 8 Australian renal clinics.

Predictors: Preferences for and trade-offs between the dialysis treatment attributes of life expectancy, number of hospital visits per week, ability to travel, hours per treatment, treatment time of day, subsidized transport service, and flexibility of treatment schedule.

Outcomes & measurements: Results presented as ORs for preferring home-based or in-center dialysis to conservative care.

Results: 105 predialysis patients and 73 family caregivers completed the study. Median patient age was 63 years, and mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was 18.1 (range, 6-34) mL/min/1.73 m(2). Median caregiver age was 61 years. Home-based dialysis (either peritoneal or home hemodialysis) was chosen by patients in 65% of choice sets; in-center dialysis, in 35%; and conservative care, in 10%. For caregivers, this was 72%, 25%, and 3%, respectively. Both patients and caregivers preferred longer rather than shorter hours of dialysis (ORs of 2.02 [95% CI, 1.51-2.70] and 2.67 [95% CI, 1.85-3.85] for patients and caregivers, respectively), but were less likely to choose nocturnal than daytime dialysis (ORs of 0.07 [95% CI, 0.01-0.75] and 0.03 [95% CI, 0.01-0.20]). Patients were willing to forgo 23 (95% CI, 19-27) months of life expectancy with home-based dialysis to decrease their travel restrictions. For caregivers, this was 17 (95% CI, 16-18) patient-months.

Limitations: Data were limited to stated preferences rather than actual choice of dialysis modality.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that it is rare for caregivers to prefer conservative nondialytic care for family members with CKD. Home-based dialysis modalities that enable patients and their family members to travel with minimal restriction would be strongly aligned with the preferences of both parties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Caregivers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Renal Dialysis* / methods
  • Renal Dialysis* / psychology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / psychology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Travel