Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of annual income, Medicare status, and demographic variables on the health-related quality of life (HQoL) of renal transplant recipients.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was mailed to 146 Georgia renal transplant recipients who had functional grafts. Data were collected using the SF-12 Health Survey (version 2), a demographics survey, and 2003 tax documents. One-way ANOVAs and Pearson's R correlations were used to examine relationships between annual income, Medicare status, demographic variables and SF-12 scores. Significant variables were included in stepwise multiple regression analyses.
Results: Data from 130 participants (89% response rate) were collected. Recipients with no Medicare coverage had significantly higher scores on the Physical Functioning and Role Physical SF-12 scales (p = 0.005) compared to recipients with Medicare. Annual income was positively correlated with General Health (p < 0.05). Age and race were significant predictors of Vitality (p = 0.004) and Physical Component Summary (p < 0.001) scores. Age, race, and Medicare status were significant predictors of Physical Functioning and Role Physical scores (p < 0.001). Age, annual income, race, and years post-transplant were significant predictors of General Health score (p < 0.001). Age was the sole predictor of Bodily Pain score (p = 0.002), and marital status was the sole predictor of Social Functioning score (p = 0.005).
Conclusions: Interventions designed to offset financial barriers may be needed to bolster renal transplant recipients' HQoL.