Health related quality of life (HRQOL) of kidney transplanted patients: variables that influence it


Corresponding author: Dr Pablo Rebollo Alvarez, Nephrology Service, Hospital Central de Asturias, Celestino Villamil s/n, Oviedo, 33006, Spain. E-mail:


The incidence and prevalence of patients on renal replacement therapy (RRT) who receive a renal transplant are continuously increasing in Spain. At the moment, they are the main group of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in our region (60% of total RRT patients). The aim of the present study was to assess the health related quality of life (HRQOL) of kidney transplanted patients of our region, and to identify socio-demographic and clinical variables that influence it. The intention was also to compare the HRQOL of these patients with that of chronic haemodialysis (HD) patients and of the general population.
Methods. Two hundred and ten kidney transplanted patients and 170 HD patients were evaluated using the Karnofsky performance scale (KPS), sickness impact profile (SIP), and SF-36 Health Survey (SF-36). Socio-demographic and clinical data, including a comorbidity index (CI), were also collected. To compare our patients with the general population we used SF-36 mean scores from an aleatory sample taken from our region.
Results. Transplant patients had lower mean scores on SIP dimensions and higher scores on SF-36 dimensions than chronic HD patients. In transplant patients, we found significant differences on SIP and SF-36 scores in gender, educational level, haematocrite and haemoglobin, CI, time since transplantation, and KPS.
Conclusions. The HRQOL of transplant patients is clearly better than that of chronic HD patients and similar to that of the general population. Differences in the HRQOL within transplant patients did not appear to be as a result of patient's age, but rather it would appear to be a consequence of gender, analytic figures, CI, KPS score, time with transplant, and educational level.