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Kidney Week

Abstract: TH-PO236

How Does Starting Dialysis Impact Quality of Life in Patients and Their Partners? A Longitudinal Study

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 701 Dialysis: Hemodialysis and Frequent Dialysis


  • Moore, Currie R., University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Carter, Lesley-Anne, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Wearden, Alison J., University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Skevington, Suzanne M., Univ. of Manchester, UK, Bath, United Kingdom
  • Mitra, Sandip, Manchester University Hospitals, UK, Sale, United Kingdom

For patients and their families, quality of life (QOL) while on dialysis is of central importance. Despite this, limited research exists on how (QOL) changes as patients transition onto dialysis. The present study aimed to investigate changes in QOL in renal patients and their partners (spouses or significant others) during the critical period of preparing for dialysis and over the first 12 weeks on dialysis. We also aimed to determine whether psychosocial factors measured during pre-dialysis can predict QOL outcomes 12 weeks after starting dialysis.


10 renal units in England took part in this observational, longitudinal study. 88 couples completed baseline questionnaires during pre-dialysis; 50 couples completed follow-up questionnaires at 6 weeks after starting dialysis; and 40 couples completed further follow-up questionnaires at 12 weeks after starting dialysis. At each time point patients and their partners completed a QOL questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF), study specific questionnaires on psychosocial factors (Expectations, Accepting Dialysis, and Patient-Partner Relationship Characteristics), affect (HADS), and symptoms (POS-S Renal or Generic).


Preliminary analyses show significant positive changes in QOL in patients from pre-dialysis to 6 weeks (b=0.3, p <0.001, 95% CI (0.17, 0.45). No significant differences were found in changes in partners’ scores over this time period (b=0.2, p=0.134, 96% CI (-0.1, 0.6)). QOL remained steady over the subsequent 6 weeks (patients b=0.2, p=0.357, 95% CI (-0.2, 0.5); partners b=-0.1, p=0.793, 95 %CI (-0.5, 0.4)). Further analyses will be conducted once data collection concludes in June 2019. Multi-level modelling will be used to estimate the changes in QOL between patients and partners. Baseline scores on the psychosocial factor scales will then be tested as predictors of QOL outcomes at 12 weeks.


This research is one of the first to investigate QOL in patients and their partners as they transition onto dialysis and to explore the impact of psychosocial variables on QOL. These findings could assist renal clinicians in targeting couples who may need support and may suggest the key psychological and relationship factors which will facilitate better QOL during this stressful period.


  • Government Support - Non-U.S.