Health-related quality of life in end-stage renal disease patients: the effects of starting dialysis in the first year after the transition period

Natascha J. H. Broers*, Remy J. H. Martens, Bernard Canaud, Tom Cornelis, Tom Dejagere, Nanda M. P. Diederen, Marc M. H. Hermans, Constantijn J. A. M. Konings, Frank Stifft, Joris J. J. M. Wirtz, Karel M. L. Leunissen, Frank M. van der Sande, Jeroen P. Kooman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Prevalent dialysis patients have low scores of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) which are associated with increased risk of hospitalization and mortality. Also in CKD-5 non-dialysis patients, HRQOL scores seem to be lower as compared with the general population. This study firstly aimed to compare HRQOL between CKD-5 non-dialysis and prevalent dialysis patients in a cross-sectional analysis and to assess longitudinal changes over 1 year after the dialysis initiation. Secondly, the correlation between HRQOL and physical activity (PA) was explored.

Cross-sectional 44 CKD-5 non-dialysis, 29 prevalent dialysis, and 20 healthy controls were included. HRQOL was measured by Short Form-36 questionnaires to measure physical and mental domains of health expressed by the physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores. PA was measured by a SenseWear (TM) pro3. Longitudinally, HRQOL was assessed in 38 CKD-5 non-dialysis patients (who were also part of the cross-sectional analysis), before dialysis initiation until 1 year after dialysis initiation.

PCS scores were significantly lower both in CKD-5 non-dialysis patients and in prevalent dialysis patients as compared with healthy controls (p <0.001). MCS scores were significantly lower in both CKD-5 non-dialysis patients (p = 0.003), and in dialysis patients (p = 0.022), as compared with healthy controls. HRQOL scores did not change significantly from the CKD-5 non-dialysis phase into the first year after dialysis initiation. PA was significantly related to PCS in both CKD-5 non-dialysis patients (r = 0.580; p <0.001), and dialysis patients (r = 0.476; p = 0.009).

HRQOL is already low in the CKD-5 non-dialysis phase. In the first year after dialysis initiation, HRQOL did not change significantly. Given the correlation between PCS score and PA, physical activity programs may be potential tools to improve HRQOL in both CKD-5 non-dialysis as well as in prevalent dialysis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1142
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Health-related quality of life
  • Physical Activity
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Dialysis


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