Abstract: TH-PO973

Hemodialysis Patient Social Networks Promote Living Donor Transplant Discussions

Session Information

Category: Transplantation

  • 1702 Transplantation: Clinical and Translational

Authors

  • Gillespie, Avrum, None, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Rao, Swati, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Dawson, Sarah Elizabeth, Temple University, Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Traino, Heather Marie, Temple University, Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Reese, Peter P., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Obradovic, Zoran, Temple University, Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Gadegbeku, Crystal A., Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Fink, Edward L., Temple University, Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States
Background

Social contagion theory posits that ideas, attitudes, and behaviors spread within social networks. However, little is known about the structure and influence of social networks within the unique setting of hemodialysis (HD) clinics. We examine the role of patient HD social networks and discussing living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT), a well-known barrier to renal patients’ access to transplantation.

Methods

Survey and observational data collected between 8/2012 and 2/2015 were used to characterize the social network of 46 hemodialysis patients in a newly opened clinic.

Results

The mean age of participants was 54yrs, 58% were male, 39% Hispanic and 30% African Americans and 65% had discussed transplant with clinic nephrologist. Thirty-two (70%) patients interacted with others to form a social network, with 44% discussing transplantation with other patients. Patients who discussed transplant with others in their network were 19 times more likely (OR 18.7; 95% C.I. 3.4-101.5; p = 0.001) to request consideration of living donation from family/friends than those who were not connected through the clinic network. Patients who discussed transplant with HD staff were also more likely to discuss the possibility of live donation (OR 5.1 C.I. 1.5-18.1, p = 0.01). Patient demographic characteristics were not associated with discussions about living donation with individuals outside the clinic setting.

Conclusion

This study found that patients who discuss transplant with other patients and staff in the hemodialysis clinic are more likely to request consideration of living donation from member of their extra-clinic networks. These findings suggest HD patient social networks are potential target for social network interventions. This research also challenges the current ecological approach to barriers to transplantation which attributes only a small role to the HD clinic and often neglects the role of patient interactions.

Funding

  • Other U.S. Government Support