Behavioral compliance with dialysis prescription in hemodialysis patients

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

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128 Scopus citations


The relationship between compliance and outcome is poorly understood, partially because there has been no gold standard for measuring compliance in hemodialysis patients. To investigate interrelationships between psychological, medical, and compliance factors, hemodialysis (HD) patients were studied with the Beck Depression Inventory, and a subset, the Cognitive Depression Index, the Perception of Illness Effects scale, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Behavioral compliance was measured in three ways: (1) percent time compliance (signifying 'shortening behavior'); (2) percent attendance (signifying 'skipping behavior) (3) percent total time compliance, assessing patients' time on dialysis normalized for prescribed time, including all shortenings and absences. Standard compliance indicators (predialysis serum potassium and phosphorus concentrations and interdialytic weight gain) were also analyzed. The patients' mean Beck Depression Inventory was in the range of mild depression. The prevalence of depression was 25.5%. Both depression indices correlated with Perception of Illness Effects scale scores. In general, social support was related to both measures of depression and perception of illness effects. Total time compliance was 95.8 ± 5.0%. Younger patients were more likely to skip treatments compared with older patients. Time compliance comprised a wide spectrum, with most patients relatively compliant, whereas a small proportion received far less than their prescribed dialysis. Skipping and ing behaviors did not correlate, suggesting that these constitute two separate types of noncompliant behaviors. Time compliance parameters did not correlate with potassium levels or interdialytic weight gain, but did correlate with phosphorus levels. Interrelationships between behavioral compliance measures and other parameters varied between units and patients of different gender. Finally, behavioral compliance patterns were stable over months in patients. It was concluded that behavioral time compliance parameters are quantifiable and are only partially related to standard compliance measures. It adherence to prescription is important for patient survival, strategies to address different behavioral compliance styles will be necessary to ensure adequate delivery of dialysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1826-1834
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • Kt/V
  • depression
  • marital satisfaction
  • protein catabolic rate
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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