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Quality of Life and Mental Health Related to Timing, Frequency and Dose of Hemodialysis

Authors

  • Scott D. Cohen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia
    • Address correspondence to: Scott D. Cohen, MD, MPH, FASN, Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, Medical Faculty Associates, George Washington University, 2150 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 3-438, Washington, DC 20037, Tel.: (202) 741-2283, Fax: (202) 741-2285, or e-mail: scohen@mfa.gwu.edu.

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  • Paul L. Kimmel

    1. Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia
    2. Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases, National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Washington, District of Columbia
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Abstract

The perceived quality of life (QOL) and mental health of dialysis patients can have a significant impact on clinical outcomes in the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population. There is growing interest in increasing dialysis frequency, dose and duration to achieve more adequate dialysis clearance, particularly of middle molecules. Over the past decade, there has been an interest in earlier initiation of dialysis; however, the results of the IDEAL study call this practice into question, and showed no difference in QOL scores between the early-start and later start dialysis patients. There are inconsistent results regarding the impact of increased dialysis frequency and dose on patients' perceived health-related QOL (HRQOL). Some studies of daily nocturnal dialysis patients show a positive impact on QOL, while others show no significant difference. The disparate outcomes may be partly related to differences in the demographic characteristics of the study populations and the specific questionnaires used to measure HRQOL. Additional research is necessary to determine whether changes in dialysis frequency, timing, and dose can positively or negatively impact patients' perceptions of their QOL and mental health.

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