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Am J Kidney Dis. 2009 Dec;54(6):1098-107. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.07.017. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Association between achievement of hemodialysis quality-of-care indicators and quality-of-life scores.

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Clinical Sciences, Epidemiology, and Research, Fresenius Medical Care North America, Waltham, MA 02451-1457, USA.



Incremental achievement of quality indicator goals has been associated with progressive improvement in mortality and hospitalization risk in hemodialysis (HD) patients.


Descriptive cross-sectional study.


All 33,879 HD patients treated at Fresenius Medical Care North America facilities for >90 days with scorable 36-Item Short Form Health Survey responses from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2006.


We hypothesized that achieving up to 5 HD goals before the survey (albumin >or= 4.0 g/dL, hemoglobin of 11-12 g/dL, equilibrated Kt/V >or= 1.2, phosphorus of 3.5-5.5 mg/L, and absence of HD catheter) results in better self-reported quality of life (QoL).


Distributions of Physical and Mental Component Summary (PCS/MCS) scores within and across quality indicator categories determined during the prior 90 days from survey date (compared using analysis of covariance and linear regression models, with adjustment for case-mix and each of the quality indicators).


Incremental achievement of up to 5 goals was associated with progressively higher PCS and MCS scores (both P for trend < 0.001). Compared with patients meeting all 5 goals (n = 4,208; reference group), case-mix-adjusted PCS score was lower by 1.8 point with only 4 goals met (n = 11,785), 3.4 points for 3 goals (n = 10,906), 4.9 points for 2 goals (n = 5,119), 5.9 points for 1 goal (n = 1,592), and 7.8 points in the 269 patients who failed to meet any goal (each P < 0.001 vs the reference group). The corresponding decreases in case-mix-adjusted MCS scores were 1.0 point for 4 goals met, 1.7 point for 3 goals, 2.3 points for 2 goals, 3.0 points for 1 goal, and 4.7 points with no goal met, with each P < 0.001 compared with the MCS score from patients who achieved all 5 goals.


Potential residual confounding from unmeasured covariates.


Patients progressively meeting more quality goals report incrementally better QoL. Further studies are needed to determine whether prospective achievement of quality goals will result in improved QoL for HD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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