Despite advance in renal replacement therapy (RRT), patients with chronic end-stage renal disease (ESRD) face various limitations, and renal transplantation (Tx) is the treatment that impacts most on quality of life (QoL). This study aimed to assess changes in QoL in a cohort of ESRD dialysis patients.
Sociodemographic, clinical, nutritional, lifestyle, and QoL data were collected from 712 patients at baseline (time 1) and after 10 years of follow-up (time 2) for patients surviving. The QoL was assessed through the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the multiple linear regression model was used to analyze the factors associated with change in QoL.
A total of 205 survivors were assessed and distributed into three groups according to current RRT (Dialysis–Dialysis, Dialysis–Tx, and Dialysis–Tx–Dialysis). At time 1, only age was significantly different among groups; at time 2, transplant patients sustained greater social participation, job retention, and improvement in SF-36 scores. The factors associated with change in QoL were more time on dialysis interfering negatively on physical functioning (p = 0.002), role-physical limitations (p = 0.002), general health (p = 0.007), social functioning (p = 0.02), role-emotional (p = 0.003), and physical components ( p = 0.002); non-participation in social groups at times 1 and 2 reducing vitality (p = 0.02) scores; and having work at time 2, increasing vitality (p = 0.02) and mental health (p = 0.02) scores.
QoL was shown to be dynamic throughout the years of RRT, transplantation being the treatment with more benefits to the ESRD. More time on dialysis and limited social and occupational routine were associated with a reduction in QoL.