Quality of life, anxiety and distress in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease: pre-dialysis and start of dialytic treatment


The psychological impact of the Chronic Kidney Disease is well known and several factors contribute to a reduction of quality of life, increase of anxiety levels and psychological distress for affected patients. Psychological intervention is becoming ever more consolidating within the Departments of Nephrology. Nevertheless, literature is lacking about the psychological intervention specificity, especially concerning the dialysis and pre-dialysis phase. The purpose of the study is to identify the mainly critical periods for the dialysed patients in terms of anxiety and distress and to examine the impact of medical management in pre-dialysis period on life quality. In this multi-centre study the sample was collected in three Dialysis Centres: the IRCCS San Raffaele, the IRCCS Multimedica and the A.O. Fatebenefratelli. The instruments used were KDQOL-SF, specific for the dialysed patient’s quality of life, PDI, for the distress evaluation and STAI, for anxiety evaluation. The data showed the presence of a more severe psychological unease at the beginning of haemodialysis therapy and a better perception of the life quality for those who have received the medical adoption during the pre-dialysis phase than who did not have it. From a psychological point of view, these results highlight the importance of taking charge the patients in a pre-dialysis phase and of structuring specific psychological interventions during the initial period of substitution therapy.

Key words: anxiety, dialysed patients, distress, life quality, pre-dialysis, psychological intervention

Full text of the article is available in Italian.