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The Relationship between Dialysis Metrics and Patient-Reported Cognition, Fatigue, and Physical Function. Kidney Dis (Basel) 2020 Sep;6(5):364-370



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INTRODUCTION: The impact of achieving hemodialysis laboratory and hemodynamic quality metrics on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if meeting dialysis laboratory quality of care measures is associated with improved PROs.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we measured the relationship between dialysis patients' Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) scores and commonly used dialysis quality of care measures.

RESULTS: PROMIS surveys were administered to 92 dialysis patients. The mean ± SD scores demonstrated higher fatigue (55.0 ± 9.8) and lower physical function (37.9 ± 7.9) but similar cognition (50.3 ± 10.9) compared to general population normative scores of 50 ± 10. Dialysis patients meeting Kt/V goals had no better scores than those who did not. Meeting the hemoglobin (Hgb) value of ≥10 g/dL was associated with a lower fatigue score, but no difference in cognitive or physical function scores. Meeting the serum albumin goal of ≥4.0 mg/dL was associated with a higher physical function score but made no difference for cognitive function or fatigue score. As a continuous variable, a higher Hgb was associated with lower reported fatigue (HR -1.74 95%, CI [-3.09, -0.39]), but no other measures were associated with PRO scores when adjusted for demographics and comorbidities.

CONCLUSIONS: We found little association between measures currently used to assess the quality of dialysis care and PROs. Encouraging improved utilization of PROs and incorporating PROs into quality measurements might give a more robust assessment of quality of care. Future studies should assess the benefits of this approach.

Author List

Sturgill DA, Bal N, Nagavally S, Wolfgram DF


Dawn Felicity Wolfgram MD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin