Identifying and Addressing the Barriers to Home Haemodialysis (DREAM)

Kidney disease is becoming more common. This means that more people require kidney transplants and haemodialysis. Haemodialysis is a way of replacing the functions of failing kidneys by using an external machine to clean the blood. Haemodialysis is usually carried out in a hospital. However, after training, many patients and their carers/families can carry out haemodialysis at home. Home haemodialysis is cheaper and works better than haemodialysis carried out in the hospital. Home haemodialysis can be done whenever is convenient for the patient. However, only 2.5% of patients complete dialysis at home.

The aim of this project is to work out how to increase the number of people carrying out home haemodialysis. We will use different ways to identify the barriers to home haemodialysis for patients (e.g. fear of injecting), and in the health service (e.g. lack of support for patients). We will review information that has already been published on barriers to home haemodialysis. We will also carry out interviews and surveys with patients, carers/families, doctors, nurses, and healthcare managers to find out their opinions on why home haemodialysis is not done more often by patients. We will study the task of home haemodialysis itself to understand what steps may be difficult or frightening for patients to do. Once we have identified barriers, we will work with a group of patients and their carers/families, doctors, nurses, and healthcare managers to identify what can be done to get rid of these barriers and increase the number of patients doing home haemodialysis.

The DREAM project is an important project for encouraging more home haemodialysis in Ireland and beyond. In the future more healthcare will move from hospital to home settings. So, our project is also important for thinking about how to encourage, support, and safely deliver other types of home-based care.

Award Date
01 July 2022
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Paul O'Connor
Host Institution
University of Galway
Investigator Led Projects