How patients choose kidney transplant centers: A qualitative study of patient experiences

Cory R Schaffhausen, Warren T McKinney, Marilyn J Bruin, Jon Synder, Arthur J Matas, Bertram Kasiske, Ajay K Israni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about how patients make the critical decision of choosing a transplant center. In the United States, acceptance criteria, waiting times, and mortality vary significantly by geography and center. We sought to understand patients' experiences and perspectives when selecting transplant centers. We included 82 kidney transplant patients in 20 semi-structured interviews, nine focus groups with local candidates, and three focus groups with national recipients. Sites included two local transplant centers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and national recipients from across the United States. Transcripts were analyzed by two researchers using a thematic analysis. Several themes emerged related to priorities and barriers when choosing a center. Patients were often unfamiliar with options, even with multiple local centers. Patients described being referred to a specific center by a trusted provider. Patients prioritized perceived reputation, comfort, and convenience. Insurance coverage was both a source of information and a barrier to options. Patients underestimated differences across centers and the effects on being waitlisted and receiving a transplant. Barriers in decision making included an overwhelming scope of information and difficulty locating information relevant to patients with unique medical needs. Informed decisions could be improved by the dissemination of understandable information better tailored to individual patient needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13523
JournalClinical Transplantation
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • center
  • choosing
  • kidney
  • qualitative
  • transplantation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'How patients choose kidney transplant centers: A qualitative study of patient experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this