The effectiveness of intradialytic exercise prescription on quality of life in patients with chronic kidney disease

Medscape J Med. 2008;10(10):226. Epub 2008 Oct 1.


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a widespread medical condition that is progressive in nature. As renal function declines, the disease ultimately reaches the life-threatening end stage(ESRD), which requires urgent replacement therapy, either by dialysis or transplantation. As a result, CKD patients, many of whom have comorbid medical conditions, are severely restricted in physical, psychological, and social dimensions of life. Over the past 3 decades, research has been carried out on the effects of intradialytic exercise rehabilitation on the quality of life (QoL) of CKD patients.

Aims: This review aims to critically examine the effect of exercise prescription in reducing the physical and psychological limitations encountered by CKD patients.

Method: Four studies were selected and critically appraised using specific inclusion criteria.

Results: The results of all studies suggest a causal relationship between exercise intervention and QoL of CKD patients. Exercising patients have shown improvements in physical fitness, psychological function, manual dexterity, reaction times, and lower-extremity muscle strength. All of these factors help improve QoL.

Conclusion: Evidence gathered from the studies shows that exercise training has beneficial effects on the QoL of CKD patients; however, exercise is still not routinely prescribed. Further research and robust evidence are needed to overcome the limitations encountered by previous studies to confirm the positive results of exercise prescription in management of CKD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Exercise Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / rehabilitation*
  • Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Renal Dialysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome