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Semin Dial. 2012 Jul;25(4):439-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2012.01110.x.

Measurement of health-related quality of life in the care of patients with ESRD: isn't this the metric that matters?

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Renal-Electrolyte Division, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


An outcome can take many forms in the health care of an individual. Common measures in clinical research may include mortality, time to ESRD, or change in glomerular filtration rate. While a patient surely may share an interest with a clinician regarding these endpoints, individual life priorities expectedly vary. Outcomes of great value to a clinician (or their performance quality measures) may not be shared by their patient. While continued education and efforts in effective communication may help each party understand the reasons behind these differences, the time required to foster such dialogues remains a major hurdle for most clinicians. Through the use of contemporary computers such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, healthcare providers can gain meaningful insight from patient-reported data such as pain, sleep, and sexual function. This review will detail how carefully constructed questionnaires with equivalent reliability as long annual surveys, such as KDQOL, can be more quickly completed by using novel technology, which can be transmitted from the patient to the clinician and back to the bedside in minutes rather than in weeks.

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