Important differences in management policies for children with end-stage renal disease in the Netherlands and Belgium-report from the RICH-Q study
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation. - Berlin
, p. 1984-1992
University of Antwerp
Background. The low prevalence of childhood end-stage renal disease and the small centre sizes have been a barrier for clinical studies and the development of evidence-based guidelines for chronic renal replacement therapy (cRRT) in children. Few data exist on the quality of care for these patients and the applicability of existing guidelines. The aim of this study is to quantify variation in treatment policies and actually delivered care in nine centres that deliver cRRT for children. Methods. We surveyed treatment policies in all nine centres in the Netherlands and Belgium and compared them with the actually provided therapies and with recommendations from available guidelines. Data on treatment policies were gathered by questionnaires; actually provided care and outcomes were registered prospectively from 2007 to 2010. Results. Data on policies and actual patient care were obtained from all nine centres. We found relevant differences between centres in treatment policies on various topics, e. g. estimated glomerular filtration rate threshold as an indication for initiation of cRRT, preferred initial mode of cRRT, peritoneal dialysis catheter care, haemodialysis frequency and vascular access. Discrepancies were seen between stated treatment policies and actual performed therapies. For the majority of policies, no evidence-based guidelines are available. Conclusions. Health care disparities exist due to large and unwanted variation in treatment policies between hospitals providing cRRT for children. Delivered care does not live up to stated policies, for which clear and internationally accepted guidelines are lacking.