Home haemodialysis (HHD) and self-care satellite dialyses (SHD) have been suggested to offer significant benefits over conventional in-centre haemodialysis. However, little is known about differences between these two modalities. The purpose of the study was to analyse costs and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of HHD and SHD.Methods
On 15 October 2004, a total of 65 patients attended self-care haemodialysis in the area. Of those patients, 33 were on HHD and 32 on SHD. Cost data were collected from those study patients who were on dialysis the whole calendar year 2004 (23/33 HHD and 28/32 SHD patients). HRQoL was measured by the generic 15D instrument. The questionnaire was administered to all the study patients. A total of 23/33 of HHD and 24/32 of SHD patients returned the questionnaire.Results
Direct medical costs of dialysis and hospital treatment were higher in HHD (31 834 ± 6046 EUR/year, mean ± SD) than in SHD (27 528 ± 4325), P < 0.005. By contrast, travel costs were lower in HHD (426 ± 743 EUR/year) than in SHD (5228 ± 4236), P < 0.001. Costs of pharmaceuticals did not differ significantly. There was no significant difference in the total costs between HHD and SHD (38 477 ± 7685 and 39 781 ± 10 226 EUR/year), P=not significant. There were no significant differences in the total 15D score or in the 15 dimensions of the 15D instrument between home and satellite patients.Conclusions
HHD and SHD are, from the patient's perspective, equally effective in providing health. Although there were significant differences in the distribution of costs (which needs to be taken into account when evaluating different treatment strategies), total costs were similar. However, in the HHD setting, patients had on average more and longer sessions. Patient preference should be the main decisive factor when choosing between home or satellite haemodialysis.