Intradialytic activities and health-related quality of life among hemodialysis patients

Fatima Warsame, Hao Ying, Christine E. Haugen, Alvin G. Thomas, Deidra C. Crews, Tariq Shafi, Bernard Jaar, Nadia M. Chu, Dorry L. Segev, Mara A. McAdams-DeMarco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) reflects a patient's perceived disease burden, treatment effectiveness, and health status. Given the time burden and physiologic effects of hemodialysis, patients who spend dialysis time (9-15 h/week) physically or intellectually engaged may have better HRQOL. We characterized the intradialytic activities and explored their association with HRQOL. Methods: In a cross-sectional study of 431 hemodialysis patients, we ascertained kidney-disease-specific quality of life, measured frailty, and surveyed participants about their usual active intradialytic activities (reading, playing games, doing puzzles, chatting, or other) and passive intradialytic activities (watching TV or sleeping). We used adjusted ordered logistic regression to identify correlates of the activity index (the sum of active intradialytic activities) and adjusted linear regression to quantify the association between the activity index and physical-, mental-, and kidney-disease-specific HRQOL. Results: The 2 most common intradialytic activities were passive activities (watching TV = 87.9%; sleeping = 72.4%). Participants who were female (aOR 1.85, 95% CI 1.28-2.66; p = 0.001), nonfrail (aOR 1.70, 95% CI 1.06-2.70; p = 0.03), and nonsmokers (aOR 2.61, 95% CI 1.39-4.90; p = 0.003) had a higher intradialytic activity index after adjustment. Higher intradialytic activity index was associated with better mental- (0.83 points, 95% CI 0.04-1.62; p = 0.04) and kidney-disease-specific HRQOL (1.70 points, 95% CI 0.47-2.93; p = 0.007), but not physical HRQOL. Conclusions: Hemodialysis patients with more active intradialytic activities report better mental and kidney-disease-specific HRQOL. These results should be confirmed in a prospective study with a broader cohort of hemodialysis patients. Dialysis providers may consider offering patients with low levels of activity additional support and opportunities to engage in beneficial intradialytic activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Health-related quality of life
  • Hemodialysis
  • Intradialytic activities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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