Background/aims: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important determinant of treatment effectiveness in dialysis patients. To our knowledge, there are no reports evaluating HRQOL of hemodialysis (HD) in Chinese patients. The purpose of this study is to present our results about HRQOL using the 36-Item Short-Form (SF-36) questionnaire on Taiwanese hemodialysis patients.
Methods: HRQOL was measured by using the SF-36 questionnaire in 497 HD patients in five hospitals.
Results: The following attributes, male gender, age <50 years old, higher education level (HEL), marriage status, employment status (EPS), less comorbid medical condition (CMC), and non-diabetic patients (NDP) were all predicted on a better Physical Component Scale (PCS). Age <50 years old, body mass index >18.5, HEL, EPS and NDP were all predicted on a higher Mental Component Scale (MCS). Scales contributing to a summary measure of physical health, the PCS score was significantly lower in women (35.0 +/- 12.3) than in men (37.9 +/- 12.3). However, there was no difference in the MCS score between women and men. In multivariate analysis, age, CMC, diabetes, serum creatinine (SCr), and erythropoietin responsiveness were significant independent predictors of PCS. Diabetes, educational level, SCr, and erythropoietin responsiveness were significant independent predictors of MCS. All of the individual scales were lower in Taiwanese HD patients than in both the general Taiwanese and US population. Each of the individual scales and MCS scores were substantially lower in the Taiwan HD group than in the US HD cohort. However, the bodily pain of PCS was significantly higher in the Taiwan HD group, although the mean PCS scores for the Taiwan HD group and the US HD study participants were nearly equal at 36.3 and 36.1, respectively.
Conclusion: The physical and mental aspects of quality of life are substantially lower for Taiwanese HD patients, except for higher bodily pain tolerance. A number of demographic and clinical characteristics have a significant impact on HRQOL in Taiwanese HD patients.