• China;
  • cluster analysis;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • quality of life;
  • renal disease

Aim.  To determine whether the patients with end stage renal failure can be differentiated into several subtypes based on five main variables.

Background.  There is a lack of interventional research linking to clinical outcomes among the patients with end stage renal failure in Hong Kong and with no clear evidence of differences in terms of their clinical/health outcomes and characteristics.

Design.  A cross-sectional survey.

Method.  Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. One hundred and fifty-three patients with end stage renal failure were recruited during 2007 at three renal centres in Hong Kong. Five main variables were employed: predisposing characteristic, enabling resources, quality of life, symptom control and self-care adherence.

Results.  A cluster analysis yielded two clusters. Each cluster represented a different profile of patients with end stage renal failure. Cluster A consisted of 49·7% (n = 76) and Cluster B consisted of 50·3% (n = 77) of the patients. Cluster A patients, more of whom were women, were older, less educated, had higher quality of life scores, a better adherence rate and more had received nursing care supports than patients in Cluster B.

Conclusions.  We have identified two groupings of patients with end stage renal failure who were experiencing unique health profile. Nursing support services may have an effect on patient health outcomes but only on a group of patients whose profile is similar to the patients in Cluster A and not for patients in Cluster B. A clear profile may help health care professional make appropriate strategies to target a specific group of patients to improve patient outcomes.

Relevance to clinical practice.  The identification of risk for future health-care use could enable better targeting of interventional strategies in these groups. The results of this study might provide health care professionals with a model to design specified interventions to improve life quality for each profile group.