Aspects of quality of life in hemodialysis patients

P. L. Kimmel, R. A. Peterson, K. L. Weihs, S. J. Simmens, D. H. Boyle, I. Cruz, W. O. Umana, S. Alleyne, J. H. Veis

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121 Scopus citations


The proper means of measuring quality of life in chronically ill patients is unclear. Because different measures may assess varied aspects of patients' experience and because they may be interrelated in different ways, the relationship between several of these quality-of-life measures, including indices of psychological well-being, social support, and severity of illness in ESRD patients treated with hemodialysis (HD), was prospectively assessed. In addition, it was determined whether patients' assessment of quality of life, along any dimension, was related to patient compliance in three urban HD units, in a population largely composed of African-American patients. Severity of illness scores correlated with both attendance and compliance with the dialysis prescription. Karnofsky scores correlated inversely with age, depression, social environment, and level of severity of illness, as expected, but not with behavioral compliance measures. Social support scores correlated with perception of illness, depression, satisfaction with life, and adjustment to illness scores, but not with behavioral or standard compliance measures. Perception of illness scores correlated with depression, social support, adjustment to illness, and satisfaction with life scores, but not with Karnofsky ratings, severity scores, or standard and/or behavioral compliance measures. Social environment scores correlated with almost all assessed variables, with the exception of anthropometric measurements, predialysis phosphorus levels, and behavioral compliance measures. Satisfaction with life scores (a global, subjective measure of quality of life) correlated with advancing age, level of social support, severity of illness, and the presence of a relationship, but were not correlated with Karnofsky scores. These data suggest that quality of life in patients treated with HD must be measured in several ways. The Psychological Adjustment to Illness Scale Social Environment score may be a useful, generalizable adjunct measure of quality of life in HD patients, in addition to the Satisfaction With Life Scale. Quality of life and perception of the effects of illness are not necessarily associated with functional ability in HD patients. These findings must be considered where making decisions about the discontinuation of HD treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1418-1426
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1995


  • Compliance
  • Depression
  • Rehabilitation
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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