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      Barriers to Physical Activity in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients: A Single-Center Pilot Study in an Italian Dialysis Facility


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          Background/Aims: In patients on chronic dialysis a sedentary lifestyle is a strong, yet potentially modifiable, predictor of mortality. The present single-center pilot study evaluated social, psychological and clinical barriers that may hinder physical activity in this population. Methods: We explored the association between barriers to physical activity and sedentarism in adult patients at a chronic dialysis facility in Parma, Italy. We used different questionnaries exploring participation in physical activity, physical functioning, patient attitudes and preferences, and barriers to physical activity perceived by either patients or dialysis doctors and nurses. Results: We enrolled 104 patients, (67 males, 65%), mean age 69 years (79% of patients older than 60 years); median dialysis vintage 60 months (range 8-440); mean Charlson score 5.55, ADL (Activities of Daily Living) score 5.5. Ninety-two participants (88.5%) reported at least one barrier to physical activity. At multivariable analysis, after adjusting for age and sex, feeling to have too many medical problems (OR 2.99, 95% CI 1.27 to 7.07; P=0.012), chest pain (OR 10.78, 95% CI 1.28 to 90.28; P=0.029) and sadness (OR 2.59, 95% CI 1.10 to 6.09; P=0.030) were independently associated with physical inactivity. Lack of time for exercise counseling and the firm belief about low compliance/interest by the patients toward exercise were the most frequent barriers reported by doctors and nurses. Conclusion: We identified a number of patient-related and health personnel-related barriers to physical activity in patients on chronic dialysis. Solutions for these barriers should be addressed in future studies aimed at increasing the level of physical activity in this population.

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          Most cited references7

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          Barriers to exercise participation among dialysis patients.

          Physical inactivity is a strong predictor of mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease and is associated with poor physical functioning. Patients with end-stage renal disease are inactive even compared to sedentary individuals without kidney disease. We sought to identify patient barriers to physical activity. Adult patients on hemodialysis in the San Francisco Bay Area were recruited and asked to complete a study survey composed of questions about self-reported level of physical functioning, physical activity participation, patient physical activity preference and barriers to physical activity. Univariate and multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to study the association between barriers to physical activity and participation in physical activity. A total of 100 patients participated in the study, the majority of whom were male (73%), with a mean age of 60 ± 15 years. Twenty-seven percent identified themselves as white, 30% black and 21% Hispanic. The majority of participants strongly agreed that a sedentary lifestyle was a health risk (98%) and that increasing exercise was a benefit (98%). However, 92% of participants reported at least one barrier to physical activity. The most commonly reported barriers were fatigue on dialysis days and non-dialysis days (67 and 40%, respectively) and shortness of breath (48%). In multivariate analysis, a greater number of reported barriers was associated with lower levels of physical activity (P < 0.02). Post-dialysis fatigue was not associated with differences in activity level in multivariate analysis. Lack of motivation was associated with less physical activity. Endorsement of too many medical problems and not having enough time on dialysis days were also associated with less activity in adjusted analysis. We have identified a number of barriers to physical activity that can be addressed in studies aimed at increasing levels of physical activity. Inconsistent with nephrologists' reported assumptions, dialysis patients were interested in physical activity.
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            Low level of self-reported physical activity in ambulatory patients new to dialysis.

            Physical inactivity contributes to the frailty and the decline in function that develops over time among patients with end-stage renal disease. We assessed physical activity among 1547 ambulatory patients new to dialysis in the United States Renal Data System Comprehensive Dialysis Study. We used a self-reporting Human Activity Profile that included Maximal and Adjusted Activity Scores and compared results to established norms by age and gender. Physical activity was found to be extremely low with scores for all age and gender categories below the 5th percentile of healthy individuals and 95% of patients had scores consonant with low fitness. Older age, female gender, diabetes, atherosclerotic disease, and a low level of education were associated with lower activity scores assessed by univariate and multivariable linear regression analysis. Higher serum albumin, creatinine, and lower body mass index, but not hemoglobin levels, were associated with greater physical activity. By multivariable analysis, patients on hemodialysis using a catheter reported lower levels of physical activity compared to those on peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis using an arteriovenous fistula, or with a graft. Lower Maximal and Adjusted Activity Scores were associated with poor physical function and mental health. Hence, physical activity is distressingly low among patients new to dialysis. Thus, strategies to enhance activity in these patients should be explored.
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              Validation of questionnaires to estimate physical activity and functioning in end-stage renal disease.

              Patients on dialysis are less physically active than sedentary persons with normal kidney function. To assess the consequences of inactivity and the results of efforts to increase activity in the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population, valid instruments to measure physical activity and physical functioning in this group are needed. We performed a cross-sectional study to establish the validity in ESRD of several questionnaires designed to measure physical activity or physical functioning in the general population. Questionnaires studied included the Stanford 7-day Physical Activity Recall questionnaire (PAR), the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), the Human Activity Profile (HAP), and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36-item questionnaire (SF-36). Physical activity was measured using three-dimensional activity monitors (accelerometers) over a seven-day period (the "gold standard"). Patients also underwent physical performance tests, including measurement of gait speed, stair climbing time, and chair rising time. Study questionnaires were administered, and questionnaire results were compared with each other and with activity monitor and physical performance test results. Thirty-nine maintenance hemodialysis patients participated in the study. Dialysis patients scored worse than previously published healthy norms on all tests. All questionnaires correlated with seven-day accelerometry and with at least one measure of physical performance. The HAP correlated best with accelerometry (r = 0.78, P < 0.0001). Seventy-five percent of the variability in physical activity measured by accelerometry could be explained by a model that combined information from the HAP and the PASE. The HAP and the physical functioning scale of the SF-36 were about equally well correlated with physical performance measures. These questionnaires are valid in patients on hemodialysis and should be used to study the physical activity and rehabilitation efforts in this population further.

                Author and article information

                Kidney Blood Press Res
                Kidney and Blood Pressure Research
                S. Karger AG
                August 2014
                29 July 2014
                : 39
                : 2-3
                : 169-175
                aRenal Pathophysiology Unit, Clinical and Experimental Medicine Department, University of Parma; bNephrology and Dialysis Unit, ASL Parma; cFaculty of Health and Sport Sciences, Parma University, Parma; dDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa; eNephrology and Dialysis Unit, ASL Pistoia, Italy
                355793 Kidney Blood Press Res 2014;39:169-175
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) ( http://www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                : 11 April 2014
                Page count
                Pages: 7
                Original Paper

                Cardiovascular Medicine,Nephrology
                Hemodialysis,End-stage renal disease,Exercise,Physical activity
                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology
                Hemodialysis, End-stage renal disease, Exercise, Physical activity


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