11 October 2013
Group information sessions at home greatly increase the chance of a transplant with a living donor. More knowledge of kidney diseases and treatments helps with the choice for living donation. This is demonstrated by the results of the ‘kidney home-visit team’ project.
The kidney team consisted of a psychologist and a transplant coordinator. They visited kidney patients and their social network at home. Most of these patients needed dialysis to survive and had been on the waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor for around two years. At the end of the research period, the situation for these patients was compared with the situation for a control group of kidney patients. The information had provided kidney patients and their family and friends with more knowledge and had reduced anxiety and concerns about living kidney donation. They were more prepared to discuss living kidney donation and donate a kidney.
The result: four times as many screening processes with living donors and four times as many transplants. “Amazing and hopeful” is how Prof. Dr. W. Weimar describes the effect. He is project leader of the ‘kidney home-visit team’ project and professor of kidney transplantation at the Erasmus MC. “Transplantation with a kidney from a living donor is much better for the patient’s quality of life, as they will no longer need to undergo dialysis. And it offers better prospects for the future, as the kidney will last twice as long as a kidney from a deceased donor.” This project could now be rolled out nationwide.