Health related quality of life in patients with chronic kidney disease

Int Urol Nephrol. 2005;37(2):367-78. doi: 10.1007/s11255-004-0012-4.


Monitoring a patient's functional status and the subjective state of well being as it related to health condition, together known as health related quality of life (HRQOL) measurements, is of particular importance in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) including those with end stage renal disease (ESRD). The concept of quality of life in dialysis has evolved since the inception of renal replacement therapy from simple survival to enjoying a certain level of well being. The measurement of dialysis outcomes have paralleled the improvement in the delivery of renal replacement therapy progressing from level of functioning, symptom checklists, multi dimensional well being, and moving perhaps to more patient centered quality of life. HRQOL domains have been strongly associated with objective patient outcomes. The self reported physical functioning and mental well being correlate with serum albumin and body composition measures. The ability of those on hemodialysis to self administer questionnaires is a barrier to the widespread use of multidimensional HRQOL assessment in clinical practice. However, new technologies using computer adaptive testing and item response theory may allow those questionnaires to be quickly and more efficiently administered by clinic staff. The finding of different HRQOL scores among CKD patients of different racial and ethnic backgrounds supports the need to individualize the concept of HRQOL, so that we can assess the crucial aspects of life in our patients and integrate these domains into a comprehensive plan of care. These recent findings underline the critical need to measure HRQOL and to expand the boundaries of our multidimensional tools with technology and a more patient centered concept of quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Quality of Life*