Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Projecting demands for renal replacement therapy in the Northern Territory: a stochastic Markov model

Jiqiong You A , Yuejen Zhao A E , Paul Lawton B , Steven Guthridge A , Stephen P. McDonald C D and Alan Cass B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Northern Territory Department of Health, PO Box 40596, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia. Email: jiqiong.you@nt.gov.au; steve.guthridge@nt.gov.au

B Menzies School of Health Research, PO Box 41096, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia. Email: paul.lawton@menzies.edu.au; alan.cass@menzies.edu.au

C Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Email: stephen.p.mcdonald@adelaide.edu.au

D ANZDATA Registry, South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA 5011, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: yuejen.zhao@nt.gov.au

Australian Health Review - https://doi.org/10.1071/AH16156
Submitted: 14 July 2016  Accepted: 2 April 2017   Published online: 30 May 2017

Abstract

Objective The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential effects of different health intervention strategies on demand for renal replacement therapy (RRT) services in the Northern Territory (NT).

Methods A Markov chain simulation model was developed to estimate demand for haemodialysis (HD) and kidney transplantation (Tx) over the next 10 years, based on RRT registry data between 2002 and 2013. Four policy-relevant scenarios were evaluated: (1) increased Tx; (2) increased self-care dialysis; (3) reduced incidence of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD); and (4) reduced mortality.

Results There were 957 new cases of ESKD during the study period, with most patients being Indigenous people (85%). The median age was 50 years at onset and 57 years at death, 12 and 13 years younger respectively than Australian medians. The prevalence of RRT increased 5.6% annually, 20% higher than the national rate (4.7%). If current trends continue (baseline scenario), the demand for facility-based HD (FHD) would approach 100 000 treatments (95% confidence interval 75 000–121 000) in 2023, a 5% annual increase. Increasing Tx (0.3%), increasing self-care (5%) and reducing incidence (5%) each attenuate demand for FHD to ~70 000 annually by 2023.

Conclusions The present study demonstrates the effects of changing service patterns to increase Tx, self-care and prevention, all of which will substantially attenuate the growth in FHD requirements in the NT.

What is known about the topic? The burden of ESKD is projected to increase in the NT, with demand for FHD doubling every 15 years. Little is known about the potential effect of changes in health policy and clinical practice on demand.

What does this paper add? This study assessed the usefulness of a stochastic Markov model to evaluate the effects of potential policy changes on FHD demand.

What are the implications for practitioners? The scenarios simulated by the stochastic Markov models suggest that changes in current ESKD management practices would have a large effect on future demand for FHD.


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