DOI: 10.1177/08968608231190772 ISSN:

A retrospective clinical and economic analysis of an assisted automated peritoneal dialysis programme in Western Australia

Henco Nel, Fortnum Debbie, Hawkins Narelle, Randall Sean, Chakera Aron
  • Nephrology
  • General Medicine


Assisted peritoneal dialysis (aPD) represents an alternative kidney replacement therapy for dialysis-dependent patients whose only other options are prolonged hospitalisations or transfer to in-centre haemodialysis (HD). Most programmes have not examined the role of temporary aPD, and there is limited data surrounding the economic implications of temporary aPD programmes. The main aim of this study was to describe the cost-effectiveness of an assisted automated peritoneal dialysis (aAPD) programme, for patients whose only reason to stay in hospital was the temporary inability to independently perform PD at home.


Retrospective, single-centre analysis of 45 referrals for aAPD from November 2015 to May 2021. Two groups of patients were enrolled in the study: respite patients already established on PD (to facilitate discharge or prevent admission) and new patients who were not yet trained (to facilitate discharge). To calculate the cost differential, patients were allocated to either staying in hospital or transferring to centre-based HD with comparison to costs on aAPD. Costs were calculated using a healthcare system perspective over the duration of aAPD assistance. Clinical outcomes including peritonitis rate, hospitalisation and mortality were also assessed.


Overall, 1349 episodes of aAPD care were delivered. One thousand forty-two episodes (77%) were for respite patients and 307 episodes (23%) were for new patients awaiting training. The mean duration of assistance was 18 days for pretraining patients and 37 days for respite patients. Overall, the mean length of stay on the programme was 30 days with a range of 1–263 days (SD 43) and 73% of patients graduated to self-care PD. The cost of the aAPD programme was $242 per visit, with an average cost $7260 per patient-episode. The aAPD programme was significantly cheaper than the alternatives, with average hospitalization costs $46,170 per episode, and in-centre HD costs of $9667. $1.497 million was saved over the course of the study. Eleven hospitalisations occurred and the peritonitis rate was 0.8 episodes per patient-year. Two patients died while on aAPD.


This study provides the first detailed description of an aAPD respite programme in Australia. We conclude that the implementation of a temporary aAPD programme could lead to a significant reduction in healthcare costs, however peritonitis rates were high.

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