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Abstract: SA-PO816

How Do Kidney Transplant Attitudes and Behaviors Affect Popularity and Influence Within the Hemodialysis Clinic Social Network?

Session Information

Category: Transplantation

  • 2002 Transplantation: Clinical


  • Calvelli, Hannah, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Gillespie, Avrum, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Gardiner, Heather Marie, Temple University College of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Gadegbeku, Crystal A., Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • Reese, Peter P., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Obradovic, Zoran, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Fink, Edward L., Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Patient social networks in hemodialysis clinics may facilitate the spread of information, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding kidney transplantation. Identifying influential social network members is an important first step for future transplant interventions among hemodialysis patients. In this study, we mapped the social networks of two different hemodialysis facilities to identify which patients could be the most influential. We used in-degree centrality (identified most frequently by other network members) as a proxy for popularity and influence.


We conducted a cross-sectional social network survey of hemodialysis patients in two geographically and demographically different hemodialysis facilities. We evaluated the demographic and clinical differences between the two facilities using univariate statistics. We used regression models to determine the relationship between in-degree centrality and kidney transplant-related variables.


A total of 111 patients were surveyed, with 71 at facility 1 and 40 at facility 2. The mean age was 60.1 ± 13.0 years old. Half (55.0%) identified as male. 73% of participants identified as Black. In-degree centrality was higher in facility 1 (1.1 ± 1.2) compared to facility 2 (0.6 ± 0.9). Facility 1 had a greater percentage of patients who reported being on the kidney transplant waitlist than facility 2 (51% vs. 20%, p = 0.02). Patients at facility 1 also knew more people who have had a successful kidney transplant and placed a higher importance on receiving a kidney transplant compared to patients at facility 2 (Median 1 [0-30] vs. 0 [0-4], p = 0.002). Participants who knew more successful kidney transplants had higher in-degree centrality (β 0.11, 95% CI [0.05-0.17], p = 0.003). Those who had completed more steps in the transplant process also had higher in-degree centrality (β 0.11, 95% CI [0.02-0.20], p = 0.02).


In-degree centrality is associated with positive attitudes and behaviors towards kidney transplantation and differs between facilities. Patients with high in-degree centrality within the hemodialysis social network have the potential to influence other patients’ attitudes and behaviors towards kidney transplant via social network interventions.


  • NIDDK Support