Health-Related Quality of Life Outcomes After Kidney Transplantation

Aneesha A. Shetty, Jason A. Wertheim, Zeeshan Butt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) provides a measure of patients' perception of their symptoms, overall health or disability, and treatment. As such, HRQOL is an important patient-centered outcome and transplant-oriented clinical research endpoint. HRQOL alone, or in tandem with other objective clinical outcome measures, is useful in monitoring clinical practice, informing treatment decisions, and guiding the allocation of healthcare resources. It comprises three domains: physical, mental, and psychosocial wellbeing; and can be measured by generalized or targeted instruments depending on the degree of specificity desired by the clinician or researcher. Patients with end stage renal disease requiring dialysis report diminished quality of life compared to the general population, which in turn is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization and death, particularly in those with a high comorbidity burden. Renal transplantation confers a global quality of life benefit. Physical symptoms like pain, poor sleep quality, and fatigue are perceived to be improved after transplantation by renal transplant recipients with a functioning allograft. Depression and anxiety also improve after transplantation as does social participation and integration. However, on average, HRQOL following renal transplant remains lower than in the general population, partly due to transplant related complications like infection and malignancy and the adverse effects of immunosuppression. Other factors that negatively impact HRQOL after transplant include older recipient age, deceased donor transplantation, female gender, lack of social support, and comorbid conditions such as diabetes and depression. Improved HRQOL after kidney transplantation, especially in the physical domain, has been associated with better patient and allograft survival. Hence it is imperative for transplant clinicians to familiarize themselves with the concepts, measurement, and interpretation of HRQOL as they strive to provide comprehensive care to kidney transplant patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKidney Transplantation, Bioengineering, and Regeneration
Subtitle of host publicationKidney Transplantation in the Regenerative Medicine Era
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128018361
ISBN (Print)9780128017340
StatePublished - Jul 6 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunosuppression
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Quality of life
  • Social health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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