Published on July 26, 2013 at 2:08 AM
Among the major findings:
•The frequency of patient-doctor contact was high (more than once per week) for 55% of facilities, intermediate (once per week) for 24% of facilities, and low (less than once per week) for 21% of facilities.
•In Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Japan, more than 75% of dialysis facilities had a high frequency of patient-doctor contact. In Australia/New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, less than 30% of facilities had a high frequency of contact.
•In the United States, the percent of facilities with high frequency patient-doctor contact declined from 23% in1996-2001 to 5% in 2005-2008. Use of non-physician practitioners (such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners) may account for some of this decline.
•Compared with patients in facilities having frequent patient-doctor contact, those with intermediate contact had a 6% higher risk of dying during the study, and those with infrequent contact had an 11% higher risk of dying during the study.
•Each 5 minutes shorter duration of contact was linked with a 5% higher risk of dying.
•There were also inverse associations between both the frequency and duration of contact with patients being hospitalized.
"Through this research, we found that more frequent and longer patient-doctor contact in the hemodialysis care setting was inversely associated with mortality and hospitalization. The results suggest that policies supporting more frequent and longer duration of patient-doctor contact may improve patient outcomes in hemodialysis," said Dr. Kawaguchi.
SOURCE American Society of Nephrology