Objective: To identify modifiable factors associated with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among chronic hemodialysis patients.
Methods: Analysis of baseline data of 9,526 hemodialysis patients from seven countries enrolled in phase I of the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS). Using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form (KDQOL-SF(TM)), we determined scores for 8 generic scale summaries derived from these scales, i.e., the physical component summary [PCS] and mental component summary [MCS], and 11 kidney disease- targeted scales. Regression models were used to adjust for differences in comorbidities and sociodemographic and treatment factors. The Benjamini-Hochberg procedure was used to correct P-values for multiple comparisons.
Results: Unemployment and psychiatric disease were independently and significantly associated with lower scores for all generic and several kidney disease-targeted HRQOL measures. Several other comorbidities, lower educational level, lower income, and hypoalbuminemia were also independently and significantly associated with lower scores of PCS and/or MCS and several generic and kidney disease-targeted scales. Hemodialysis by catheter was associated with significantly lower PCS scores, partially explained by the correlation with covariates.
Conclusion: Associations of poorer HRQOL with preventable or controllable factors support a greater focus on psychosocial and medical interventions to improve the well-being of hemodialysis patients.