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Quality of life in patients with end-stage renal disease treated with hemodialysis: survival is not enough!

Kimmel PL, Cohen SD, Weisbord SD. Quality of life in patients with end-stage renal disease treated with hemodialysis: survival is not enough! Journal of Nephrology. 2008 Mar 1; 21 Suppl 13:S54-8.

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The quality of life (QoL) of end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients is a frequently overlooked yet critical consideration when evaluating the overall medical care of patients. There are a variety of measures used to assess the QoL of ESRD patients. Some of the more frequently used tools include the single-question QoL questionnaire, the 36 Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the Kidney Disease Quality of Life (KDQoL) questionnaire. The best intervention to improve the QoL of ESRD patients is renal transplantation. The role of erythropoietin and intensification of dialysis dose in improving patients'' QoL is undergoing review. We have previously shown relationships between patients'' perception of quality of life and depressive affect, perception of burden of illness (IEQ), social support (MSP), pain and sleep disturbances. Further studies should focus on interventions that modify patients'' perceptions of these psychosocial parameters with the goal of improving their QoL. Treatment of depression, pain and sleep disorders holds particular promise in this regard.

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