Renal centre characteristics and physician practice patterns associated with home dialysis use

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Aug;28(8):2169-80. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft196. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Background: There is a wide variation in home dialysis use (peritoneal dialysis and home haemodialysis) between renal centres. This study identifies which centre characteristics and practice patterns are associated with home dialysis use.

Methods: An observational study of all UK patients starting renal replacement therapy (RRT) in 2007-2008 using patient characteristics from the UK Renal Registry (UKRR) and renal centre characteristics ascertained from a national survey. Multilevel logistic regression was used to examine the association between patient and centre characteristics and home dialysis uptake.

Results: Twenty-six per cent of 11 913 patients used home dialysis and survey responses were available from every renal centre. After taking into account patient factors, several centre factors were associated with a higher probability of home dialysis: physicians aspiring to a higher 'ideal' peritoneal dialysis rate (odds ratio, OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.06-1.37, P = 0.003 per 10% increase in 'ideal' percentage), early use of peritoneal dialysis (PD, OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.18-1.95, P < 0.001), use of home visits to educate patients pre-dialysis (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.05-1.83, P = 0.02) and to provide trouble-shooting advice for existing home dialysis patients (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.11-2.42, P = 0.01). Using videos/DVDs as part of the pre-dialysis education programme was associated with a lower probability of home dialysis, but this was correlated with lower levels of physician enthusiasm (r = -0.48, P < 0.001). After adjustment for this, the association disappeared (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.55-1.07, P = 0.1).

Conclusions: Home dialysis use is associated with modifiable centre factors as well as individual patient characteristics.

Keywords: home dialysis; practice patterns; uptake; variation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemodialysis Units, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Hemodialysis, Home / psychology
  • Hemodialysis, Home / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Prognosis