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Perit Dial Int. 2003 Dec;23 Suppl 2:S200-5.

Health-related quality of life and caregiver burden among peritoneal dialysis patients and their family caregivers in Japan.

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Japanese Red Cross, Kyushu International University, Fukuoka, Japan.



Recent studies have found that patients with chronic renal failure suffer from depression and other symptoms of decreased mental health. However, little is know about caregiver burden and mental health among patients' families. In the present study, we examined the relationship in Japan between peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients and caregivers with regard to health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and caregiver burden.


In March of 2002, we recruited 60 subjects--26 patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), and 34 caregivers--from a PD patient support group in southern Japan. We used the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form (KDQOL-SF) and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) to measure HRQOL. We used the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) to measure caregiver burden. Data was also collected on each patient's duration of illness, treatment modality, age, sex, and medical history. All data were collected by mail surveys.


Mean age of the PD patients was 48.2; mean age of the caregivers was 46.6. Mean caregiver burden on the ZBI was 14.1, which is considerably lower than that reported among caregivers for patients with dementia or stroke. Caregivers and patients both rated their general health and vitality among the lowest of the eight dimensions on the KDQOL-SF. In addition, patients scored lower than a normative population in all dimensions and significantly lower than caregivers in the dimensions of role physical functioning, role emotional functioning, and social functioning. Compared to national normative data for their age group, caregivers scored substantially lower in general health, vitality, and mental health.


Patients on CAPD are at risk for social role dysfunction, and their caregivers are at risk for decreased mental health. Further research is needed to identify interventions that can improve the HRQOL of CAPD patients and their family caregivers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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