Quality of life in peritoneal dialysis patients: decline over time and association with clinical outcomes

Kidney Int. 2002 Jan;61(1):239-48. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2002.00096.x.


Background: Quality of life (QoL) is increasingly well recognized as an important measure of treatment outcome. The aim of this study was to determine which key factors affect QoL, which aspects of QoL change over time, and if measurements of QoL were associated with clinical outcome in our peritoneal dialysis (PD) population.

Methods: The results of 88 patients (70% of our PD population) enrolled in longitudinal studies of dialysis adequacy, nutrition, and quality of life were reviewed. The sample comprised Indo-Asian [N=35 (diabetic N=18)], and white Europeans [N=53 (diabetic N=18)] heritage. At enrollment (>3 months on PD) demographic data was recorded. At enrollment, and six-month intervals, the dialysis adequacy, nutritional status, QoL (using the KDQOL-SF instrument), hospital admissions, PD infections, and changes in treatment modality were recorded.

Results: Male gender, Asian ethnicity, and poor nutritional status as measured by Subjective Global Assessment were the most significant characteristics independently associated with worse overall QoL dimension scores (physical health, mental health, kidney disease issues, patient satisfaction). Comorbidity, months of renal replacement, social deprivation and serum albumin were related to some of the 19 health domains measured. QoL declined steadily during the two-year study period. The most significant changes were for the items general health symptoms/problems, burden of kidney disease, emotional well-being, and patient satisfaction. Increased hospital admissions were associated with a worse QoL.

Conclusions: Quality of life declines in patients on PD over time. Certain aspects of QoL are especially poor in Asian and male patients. This study suggests that further research is necessary to determine the effects of interventions directed at enhancing emotional and social support.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / psychology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome