Purpose This study aimed to evaluate the quality of life of Renal Replacement Therapy patients in Brazil and its relationship with socioeconomic and demographic conditions, aspects related with the disease and health services.
Methods The participants were representative of the national population. Results were based on interviews through structured questionnaires that were applied to 3036 patients in haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and renal transplant. Information about socio-economic and demographic situation as well as quality of life was obtained. The co-morbidities referred by the patient were gathered into a co-morbidity index. It was built by means of analysis of Item Response Theory.
Results There are significant differences between renal transplantation and both dialysis in all dimensions of SF-36. Comparison between haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis showed differences in functional capacity, physical and social aspects. Renal transplant patients had the best mean score in the physical component. There is no significant difference regarding mental component. Physical and mental components are influenced by co-morbidities and age. However, older patients had better mental quality of life but worse physical component. Better off and not hospitalised patients presented better quality of life (physical component). The treatment unit influences quality of life of haemodialysis patients.
Conclusions Renal transplant patients have the best of quality of life. It's necessary to implement actions that that enable more patients access to renal transplantation.
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