Background: Quality of life and perceived health status (PHS) are important indicators of patient care together with morbidity, mortality and health-care resource utilization. The aim of this study is to explore how various medical conditions might influence perceived health status.
Methods: The study sample consisted of 128 kidney transplant recipients. PHS was measured using the self-administered SF-36 questionnaire. Stepwise linear regression analysis of 17 demographic, dialysis-, transplantation- and co-morbidity-related factors was performed in order to explore predictors of worse PHS.
Results: Older age, female gender, lower education, increased number of hospitalizations during the dialysis period and diabetes mellitus were identified as significant predictors of worse PHS. Age was the most important predictor of PHS, explaining 23.3% of variance in the SF-36 physical component and 4.4% in the SF-36 mental component. Between age groups, major differences were found in predictors of perceived health status-serum creatinine was the most important for patients younger than 45 years and the number of hospitalizations for patients of 45 years and over.
Conclusions: Biological and medical factors are significant predictors of the physical component of PHS, although they can explain only up to one-third of its variance. Other dimensions of PHS are weakly influenced by these medical parameters. It seems important to evaluate perceived health status separately among the age groups because they differ in their predictors.