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Identification of palliative care needs in hemodialysis patients: An update

, Inge Eidemak, Sille Larsen, Per Sjøgren, Stig Molsted, Jonas Sørensen, Louise Laursen,

Abstract: Objective End-stage kidney disease and hemodialysis (HD) treatment are associated with a high symptom burden in many patients. This study aimed at updating patient-reported outcomes concerning quality of life, fatigue, anxiety, and depression in HD patients treated in a single center in order to assess the need for palliative care provision. Method A cross-sectional design, in which a sample of patients treated at a single HD department (Rigshospitalet, Denmark) between January and June 2019, was analyzed using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form, the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. In addition, we compared the results with previously published data from the same department (2000) and with an age- and sex-matched sample from the Danish general population (1997/2014). Chi-square and t-tests were used for comparisons. Results Screened patients = 242, included = 141, analyzed = 131 (70.2% male, mean age = 61.3 years). HD patients reported low scores for quality of life, high scores for fatigue, and approximately 30% had anxiety/depression. Regarding quality of life, they had significantly lower scores on general health (P ≤ 0.000), vitality (P = 0.009), social functioning (P = 0.001), mental health (P = 0.007), and mental component (P = 0.005) compared with former data of HD patients. Moreover, they reported significantly poorer quality of life and worse fatigue compared with the general Danish population. Significance of results In the patients undergoing HD, quality of life was poor and worsened when compared with former HD patients’ data. Additionally, fatigue, depression, and anxiety in HD patients were prevalent. A clear need for palliative care provision was observed.
Keywords: Depression / Fatigue / Hemodialysis / Palliative care / Quality of life

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