Quality of life, mental health and health beliefs in haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients: investigating differences in early and later years of current treatment

BMC Nephrol. 2008 Nov 14;9:14. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-9-14.


Background: The study examines differences regarding quality of life (QoL), mental health and illness beliefs between in-centre haemodialysis (HD) and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD/PD) patients. Differences are examined between patients who recently commenced treatment compared to patients on long term treatment.

Methods: 144 End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients were recruited from three treatment units, of which 135 provided full data on the variables studied. Patients consisted of: a) 77 in-centre haemodialysis (HD) and 58 continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD/PD) patients, all currently being treated by dialysis for varied length of time. Patients were compared for differences after being grouped into those who recently commenced treatment (< 4 years) and those on long term treatment (> 4 years). Next, cases were selected as to form two equivalent groups of HD and CAPD/PD patients in terms of length of treatment and sociodemographic variables. The groups consisted of: a) 41 in-centre haemodialysis (HD) and b) 48 continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD/PD) patients, fitting the selection criteria of recent commencement of treatment and similar sociodemographic characteristics. Patient-reported assessments included: WHOQOL-BREF, GHQ-28 and the MHLC, which is a health locus of control inventory.

Results: Differences in mean scores were mainly observed in the HD patients with > 4 years of treatment, providing lower mean scores in the QoL domains of physical health, social relationships and environment, as well as in overall mental health. Differences in CAPD/PD groups, between those in early and those in later years of treatment, were not found to be large and significant. Concerning the analysis on equivalent groups derived from selection of cases, HD patients indicated significantly lower mean scores in the QoL domain of environment and higher scores in the GHQ-28 subscales of anxiety/insomnia and severe depression, indicating more symptoms in these areas of mental health. With regards to illness beliefs, HD patients who recently commenced treatment provided higher mean scores in the dimension of internal health locus of control, while CAPD/PD patients on long term treatment indicated higher mean scores in the dimension of chance. Regarding differences in health beliefs between equivalent groups of HD and CAPD/PD patients, HD patients focused more on the dimension of internal health locus of control.

Conclusion: The results provide evidence that patients in HD treatment modality, particularly those with many years of treatment, were experiencing a more compromised QoL in comparison to CAPD/PD patients.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Hemodialysis, Home / psychology
  • Hemodialysis, Home / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / psychology
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Life*