The quality of life is generally compromised in patients undergoing long term treatment for a chronic condition. Poor quality of life can have a negative impact on the treatment outcome. Decreased quality of life of end-stage renal disease is further compromised by renal function replacement treatments such as haemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD). These treatments have potential physical and psychosocial disadvantages, including the time consumed by treatment in hospitals or clinics and the pain associated with treatment. Disagreement exists about differences between quality of life in HD and PD patients. This study compared quality of life between HD and PD patients by means of the medical short form 36 (SF-36). The SF-36 is a short form questionnaire that is used to assess the individual’s quality of life in terms of two major components, namely physical and mental well being. These components are subdivided into eight categories which involve questions based on the individual’s perception of his/her own health with regards to physical bodily pain and emotional functioning. The SF-36 testing was used to evaluate and compare the quality of life in two groups of chronic renal failure patients at the Renal Unit of the Pretoria Academic Hospital. The objective of the study was to compare quality of life between HD and PD patients. Methods: quality of life in 15 HD and 15 PD patients was compared using the SF-36 short form. Results: there was no significant difference between HD and PD patients for total SF-36 score, but HD subjects reported more pain (p<0.05). Conclusions: quality of life is similar in HD and PD patients, with the exception of higher pain levels in HD patients.
Poster presented at the University of Pretoria Health Sciences Faculty Day, August 2008, Pretoria, South Africa. Poster was also presented at the 36th Congress of the Physiological Society of Southern Africa 2008