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Preferences of patients undergoing hemodialysis – results from a questionnaire-based study with 4,518 patients

Authors Janssen IM, Gerhardus A, von Gersdorff G, Baldamus C, Schaller M, Barth C, Scheibler F

Received 19 December 2014

Accepted for publication 15 April 2015

Published 26 June 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 847—855


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Inger Miriam Janssen,1 Ansgar Gerhardus,2,3 Gero D von Gersdorff,4 Conrad August Baldamus,4 Mathias Schaller,4 Claudia Barth,5 Fueloep Scheibler6

1Department of Epidemiology and International Public Health, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany; 2Department for Health Services Research, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany; 3Health Sciences Bremen, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany; 4Department of Internal Medicine II, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 5KfH Kuratorium fuer Dialyse und Nierentransplantation e.V., Neu-Isenburg, Germany; 6Department of Non-Drug Interventions, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Cologne, Germany

Background: Chronic kidney disease is an increasing health problem worldwide and in its final stage (stage V) can only be treated by renal replacement therapy, mostly hemodialysis. Hemodialysis has a major influence on the everyday life of patients and many patients report dissatisfaction with treatment. Little is known about which aspects of treatment are considered important by hemodialysis patients. The objective of this study was to rate the relative importance of different outcomes for hemodialysis patients and to analyze whether the relative importance differed among subgroups of patients.
Patients and methods: Within the framework of a yearly questionnaire which is distributed among patients receiving hemodialysis by the largest hemodialysis provider in Germany, we assessed the relative importance of 23 outcomes as rated on a discrete visual analog scale. Descriptive statistics were used to rank the outcomes. Subgroup analyses were performed using Mann–Whitney U or Kruskal–Wallis tests.
Results: Questionnaires of 4,518 hemodialysis patients were included in the analysis. The three most important outcomes were safety of treatment, health-related quality of life, and satisfaction with care. Further important outcomes were hospital stays, accompanying symptoms, hemodialysis duration, and the improvement or preservation of a good emotional state. Age, profession, and education had the strongest influence on relevant differences of preferences for outcomes; no relevant influence of sex or comorbidity was observed.
Conclusion: Outcomes concerning the delivery or provision of care and aspects influencing quality of life are rated by patients to be at least as important as clinical outcomes. Many of the outcomes judged to be important by the patients are not regularly considered in research, evaluation studies, or quality programs.

Keywords: patient-centered outcomes, preference elicitation, chronic disease, patient-centered research, rating scale

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