Assistant Professor
Division of Nephrology

Project title: Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Initiation of Peritoneal Dialysis

Keith Norris, MD – UCLA
Gery Ryan, PhD – RAND
Sharon Adler, MD – LA BioMed at Harbor-UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
Nephrology, clinical outcomes, disparities research, health services research, pharmacoepidemiology

Project Description:
Dialysis is a life-saving procedure for Americans with end-stage kidney disease. The most common modalities are hemodialysis (HD), which is generally performed in a dialysis unit by trained personnel, and peritoneal dialysis (PD), which is usually carried out at home by the patient. PD has been systematically underutilized in the U.S., particularly among black and Hispanic patients. This has significant implications since the modalities can affect patients’ lives quite differently.

This project will explore racial and ethnic differences in the initiation of PD. We will first quantify the variation in PD use across racial and ethnic groups, then use qualitative research methods to explore why such variation exists. Finally, we will translate these results into a culturally competent group-based intervention that will educate patients about their modality choices. This will help ensure that patients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have equal access to every type of dialysis care.