Of the fifteen projects selected by the Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP) for funding, Dr. Mucsi’s study – “Psychosocial and Ethno-Cultural Barriers to Living Donor Kidney Transplantation- Qualitative Study – New CNTRP study under Project 2” was successfully awarded the 2016 CNTRP UHN Research Innovation Grant.
These fifteen projects are important new components of the CNTRP and will have a significant impact on both solid organ and stem cell transplant patients,” says Dr. Lori West, Director of the CNTRP and Director of the Alberta Transplant Institute. “This record investment in new peer reviewed grant funding from our partners into the CNTRP ($360,000) will allow these investigators to integrate their research into the CNTRP structure, enabling them to leverage the full resources of the network to translate personalized medicine interventions into clinical practice. We are very grateful for the ongoing support from Astellas, the ATI, UHN and CHUM, in addition to the new support from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the Alberta Transplant Innovation Fund, and the Hospital for Sick Children which will help the CNTRP achieve its goal of addressing the critical gaps and barriers to effective transplantation for Canadians. We would also like to thank and acknowledge the hard work of the CNTRP New Initiatives Committee and all our volunteer Peer Reviewers for participating in the CNTRP review process and for upholding an excellent level of professionalism and quality.
End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) is a medical condition that causes tremendous human suffering and also places a heavy burden on the healthcare system. In 2012, 41,000 Canadians lived with ESKD. More than half of them were receiving some form of dialysis. Only about four out of 10 of these patients had received kidney transplant. Kidney transplant (KT) and living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) offer better survival and quality of life and also bring cost saving for the healthcare system compared to dialysis. Despite this, KT and LDKT are not used to their potential nationally. Notably, individuals of South Asian, East Asian and African Canadian background have reduced access to these better forms of treatment compared to Caucasian/white patients. The underlying reasons for these disparities are not fully understood. Lack of knowledge, lack of trust in the healthcare system, traditional health beliefs and religion may contribute to barriers to LDKT among individuals who belong to the above ethno-cultural groups.
In order to better understand the ethno-cultural barriers to accepting LDKT in Canada, we will use focus group discussions with patients with ESKD who self-identify as of South Asian, East Asian or African Canadian background. The results of these focus group discussions will help to understand attitudes and beliefs of patients about LDKT. This will help us to develop culturally appropriate patient education tools to reduce the existing ethnic disparities to LDKT in Canada. It will also help patients to make informed decisions about their treatment options for ESKD.
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