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Relocation of remote dwellers living with hemodialysis: A time trade-off survey

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  • Background There has been little research exploring the experience of dialysis therapy for people living in remote communities. Remote residence location has previously been associated with excess mortality in hemodialysis (HD) patients, suggesting that relocation to a referral center might improve outcomes. It is unknown whether patients view this approach as acceptable. Methods We studied 121 remote-dwelling chronic HD patients using the time trade-off method applied to hypothetical scenarios. Results Participants indicated that they would trade a median of 6 years of life in their current location (including current social supports) (95% CI 2.25–7) for 10 years of life in a referral center without any of their existing social supports (meaning they would be willing to forgo 4 years of life to remain in their current residence location). When current social supports were assumed to continue in both locations, people were only willing to forego a median of 2 years of life (95% CI 1–4) to remain in their current location. Older participants were much less willing to accept relocation than younger participants; the median time trade-off associated with relocation and without social supports was 2 years for participants aged <50 years, 3 years for those aged 50–69.9 years and 9 years for those aged ≥70 years. Conclusions Hemodialysis patients currently living remotely were willing to forgo much of their remaining life expectancy rather than relocate—especially among older participants. These findings suggest that decisions about relocation should be accompanied by discussion of anticipated changes in quality of life and life expectancy.

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    © 2015 Tonelli, M., Molzahn, A., Wiebe, N., Davison, S.N., Gill, J.S., Hemmelgarn, B.R., Manns, B.J., Pannu, N., Pelletier, R., Thompson, S., & Klarenbach, S.W. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Tonelli, Marcello, Molzahn, Anita, Wiebe, Natasha, Davison, Sara N., Gill, John S., Hemmelgarn, Brenda R., Manns, Braden J., Pannu, Neesh, Pelletier, Rick, Thompson, Stephanie, & Klarenbach, Scott W. (2015). Relocation of remote dwellers living with hemodialysis: A time trade-off survey. Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation, 30(10), 1767-1773.
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