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Renal Replacement Therapy

Assisted peritoneal dialysis: strategies and outcomes

Anna Giuliani, Luca Sgarabotto, Sabrina Milan Manani, Ilaria Tantillo, Claudio Ronco, Monica Zanella


Assisted peritoneal dialysis (asPD) is a modality intended for not self-sufficient patients, mainly elderly, who are not able to perform peritoneal dialysis (PD) alone and require some help to manage the treatment. In the last decades, many countries developed strategies of asPD to face with aging of dialysis population and give an answer to the increasing demand of health service for elderly. Model of asPD varies according to the type of assistants employed and intensity of assistance provided. Both health care and non-health care assistants have been used with good clinical results. A mixed model of help, using different professional figures for short time or for longer according to patients' need, has been proved successful and cost-effective. Outcomes of asPD are reported in different ways, and the comparative effect of asPD is unclear. Quality of life has rarely been evaluated; however, patients seem to be satisfied with the assistance provided, since it allows them to both retain independence and to be relieved from the burden of self-care. Assisted PD should not be intended as a PD-favoring strategy, but as a model that allows home dialysis also in patients who would not be eligible for PD because of social, cognitive or physical barriers.