Health-related and psychosocial concerns about transplantation among patients initiating dialysis

Megan L. Salter, Natasha Gupta, Elizabeth King, Karen Bandeen-Roche, Andrew H. Law, Mara A. McAdams-Demarco, Lucy Ann Meoni, Bernard G. Jaar, Stephen M. Sozio, Wen-Hong Linda Kao, Rulan S. Parekh, Dorry L. Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Disparities in kidney transplantation remain; one mechanism for disparities in access to transplantation (ATT) may be patient-perceived concerns about pursuing transplantation. This study sought to characterize prevalence of patient-perceived concerns, explore interrelationships between concerns, determine patient characteristics associated with concerns, and assess the effect of concerns on ATT. Design, setting, participants, & measurements Prevalences of 12 patient-perceived concerns about pursuing transplantation were determined among 348 adults who recently initiated dialysis, recruited from 26 freestanding dialysis centers around Baltimore, Maryland (January 2009–March 2012). Using variable reduction techniques, concerns were clustered into two categories (health-related and psychosocial) and quantified with scale scores. Associations between patient characteristics and concerns were estimated using modified Poisson regression. Associations between concerns and ATT were estimated using Cox models. Results The most frequently cited patient-perceived concerns were that participants felt they were doing fine on dialysis (68.4%) and felt uncomfortable asking someone to donate a kidney (29.9%). Older agewas independently associated with having high health-related (adjusted relative risk, 1.35 [95% confidence interval, 1.20 to 1.51], for every 5 years older for those ≥60 years) or psychosocial (1.15 [1.00 to 1.31], for every 5 years older for those aged$60 years) concerns, aswas being awoman (1.72 [1.21 to 2.43] and 1.55 [1.09 to 2.20]), having less education (1.59 [1.08 to 2.35] and 1.77 [1.17 to 2.68], comparing postsecondary education to grade school or less), and having more comorbidities (1.18 [1.08 to 1.30] and 1.18 [1.07 to 1.29], per one comorbidity increase).Having never seen a nephrologist before dialysis initiation was associated with high psychosocial concerns (1.48 [1.01 to 2.18]). Those with high health-related (0.37 [0.16 to 0.87]) or psychosocial (0.47 [0.23 to 0.95]) concerns were less likely to achieve ATT (median follow-up time 2.2 years; interquartile range, 1.6–3.2). Conclusions Patient-perceived concerns about pursuing kidney transplantation are highly prevalent, particularly among older adults and women. Reducing these concerns may help decrease disparities in ATT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1940-1948
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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