Publication Details

Cheikh Hassan, H., Chen, J. & Murali, K. (2020). Incidence and factors associated with geographical relocation in patients receiving renal replacement therapy. BMC Nephrology, 21 (1), 249-1-249-8.


BACKGROUND: Renal replacement therapy (RRT) places a burden on patients, and geographical relocation for easier access to healthcare facilities is a necessity for some. Incidence and factors associated with relocation has not been comprehensively examined at a national level. We aimed to determine proportion, incidence, characteristics of RRT patients who relocate and relocation rate by remoteness of residence and dialysis modality. METHODS: Retrospective cohort analysis using Australian and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry to examine RRT patients in Australia from January 2005 to December 2015. Relocation incidence was calculated for remoteness of residence and RRT modality as rate per 100 patient years. Factors associated with relocation were examined using competing risk regression models with death as a competing event. RESULTS: Of 24,676 incident patients on RRT, 5888 (23.9%) relocated with a median time of 1.6 years [IQR 0.7-3.4] years. Relocation incidence was 7.9 per 100 patient years and increased from major cities to very remote regions (7.2 to 48.8 per 100 patient years respectively, p < 0.001). Remoteness of residence was associated with geographical relocation in competing risk analysis especially in remote (SHR 1.20, 95%CI 1.01, 1.41 p = 0.034) and very remote regions (SHR 3.51 95% 3.05, 4.04 p < 0.001). Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ethnicity, compared to Caucasian, was independently associated with relocation (SHR 1.18, 95% CI 1.06,1.31, p = 0.002) while transplant patients were less likely to relocate compared to haemodialysis patients (HR 0.37, 95%CI 0.34, 0.39, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Relocation in patients receiving RRT is associated with remoteness of residence, RRT modality and ethnicity. Reasons for relocation and its impact on patient wellbeing and outcome should be further explored.



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