Quality of care and practice patterns in anaemia management at specialist kidney clinics in ireland: a national study
Stack, Austin G.
Ferguson, John P.
Casserly, Liam F.
Cronin, Cornelius J.
Reddan, Donal N.
Elsayed, Mohamed E.
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Stack, Austin G. Alghali, Ahmed; Li, Xia; Ferguson, John P.; Casserly, Liam F.; Cronin, Cornelius J.; Reddan, Donal N.; Hussein, Wael; Elsayed, Mohamed E. (2017). Quality of care and practice patterns in anaemia management at specialist kidney clinics in ireland: a national study. Clinical Kidney Journal 11 (1), 99-107
Background: Although anaemia is a common complication of advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), knowledge of quality of care and management practices in specialist clinics varies. We examined anaemia practices at specialist nephrology clinics within the Irish health system and evaluated the opinions of practicing nephrologists. Methods: A multicentre cross-sectional study was conducted at specialist nephrology clinics across six geographic regions in Ireland. Clinical characteristics and treatment practices were evaluated in a sample of 530 patients with CKD. An accompanying national survey questionnaire captured opinions and treatment strategies of nephrologists on anaemia management. Results: The prevalence of anaemia [defined as haemoglobin (Hb)&lt;12.0 g/dL] was 37.8%, which increased significantly with advancing CKD (from 21% to 63%; P &lt; 0.01) and varied across clinical sites (from 36% to 62%; P &lt; 0.026). Iron deficiency (ID) was present in 46% of all patients tested and 86% of them were not on treatment. More than 45% of anaemic patients were not tested for ID. Respondents differed in their selection of clinical guidelines, threshold targets for erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) and intravenous iron therapy and anaemia management algorithms were absent in 47% of the clinics. The unexpectedly low rates of ESA use (4.7%) and iron therapy (10.2%) in clinical practice were in contrast to survey responses where 63% of nephrologists indicated ESA therapy initiation when Hb was &lt;10.0 g/dL and 46% indicated commencement of iron therapy for ferritin &lt;150 ng/mL. Conclusion: This study highlights substantial variability in the management of anaemia and ID at specialist nephrology clinics with low testing rates for ID, high rates of anaemia and ID and underutilization of effective treatments. Variability in the adoption and implementation of different clinical guidelines was evident.