Background and objective: Patients' beliefs regarding their health are important to understand responses to chronic disease. The present study aimed to determine (i) whether beliefs about health differ between different renal replacement therapies in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and (ii) whether these beliefs are associated with health-related quality of life (HQoL), as well as with mental health.
Methods: A sample of 89 ESRD patients, 41 on hemodialysis (HD) treatment and 48 on peritoneal dialysis (PD) treatment, completed the World Health Organization Quality of Life instrument, the General Health Questionnaire, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control.
Results: Regarding differences in health beliefs between the two groups, HD patients focused more on the dimension of internal health locus of control than PD patients. This dimension was associated with better QoL (P = <0.01) and general health (P = 0.03) in the total sample. On the contrary, the dimension of important others in health locus of control was associated with higher depression (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: The beliefs that dialysis patients hold about their illness appear to be related to the type of renal replacement therapy. These cognitions are associated with HQoL and with mental health.