Transplant Professionals’ Perceptions of Long-Term Care Residents’ Candidacy for Kidney Transplantation

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Given the aging end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population, kidney transplant (KTx) centers may experience an increase in referrals of patients living in long-term care (LTC) settings (eg, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, group homes, and boarding homes).


To identify best practices among KTx professionals when considering individuals in LTC settings for transplantation.

Design and Setting:

A cross-sectional survey administered online to US transplant professionals via e-mail LISTSERVs and other professional networks.


One hundred twenty-six KTx professionals working in the United States.

Main Outcome Measures:

The survey was composed of demographic questions and 6 hypothetical scenarios. These scenarios asked participants to assess transplant candidacy of patients with ESRD living in LTC settings based on the information provided in the scenario. Each scenario presented a different variable that necessitated LTC placement, including lack of social support, moderate intellectual disability, stable neurological condition, mild dementia, a psychiatric condition controlled on medications, and limited mobility.


The only scenario that elicited an overwhelmingly negative response was mild dementia with 73.9% of participants unwilling to consider such patients for KTx. By contrast, the proportion of KTx professionals reluctant to proceed with KTx in the remaining scenarios ranged between 40.0% and 50.6%.


This survey of a large number of KTx professionals suggests that there is presently no best practice consensus regarding offering KTx to patients living in LTC settings. Further research should include a broader range of KTx professionals and should also include a study of outcomes with KTx in this particular patient population.

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