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      Clinical Features and Severity of Nonspecific Symptoms in Dialysis Patients

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          Abstract

          Nonspecific symptoms are common in dialysis patients but few methods are available to measure their severity and their response to alteration in dialysis therapy. To determine the clinical features and measure the severity of the most important symptoms in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, 97 dialysis patients were interviewed, 63 of whom were reinterviewed 1 year later. For comparison 82 transplant recipients were also interviewed. The six most important symptoms in dialysis patients (using the product of the patient’s perception of severity and prevalence) were tiredness, cramps, pruritus, dyspnea, headaches and joint pain. The symptoms were long-standing, occurred frequently, with little difference in prevalence between hemo- and peritoneal dialysis patients, and were often unrelated to a hemodialysis session. For each symptom, several dimensions of severity were assessed including frequency, duration, effect on sleep, daily living, activity, subjective quality of life and necessity for drug therapy. Often these dimensions did not correlate with patient’s perception of severity. For each symptom these items were combined to give an aggregate score with a range 0–10. Interobserver reproducibility for each symptom score was > 0.7 but intraobserver reproducibility was poor for 3 symptoms, because of the fluctuating nature of the symptoms. Construct validity was demonstrated by finding a significantly worse distribution of aggregate scores for tiredness, cramps, pruritus, dyspnea and nausea/vomiting in dialysis compared to transplant patients. Aggregate scores changed little after 1 year’s follow-up in stable dialysis patients but significant improvement in the aggregate scores for tiredness, dyspnea and nausea/vomiting were observed in 14 patients after successful transplantation. Multi-dimensional aggregate scores for individual symptoms should be useful in comparing the efficacy of various dialysis regimes and in determining the etiology of different symptoms, provided account is taken of the fluctuating nature of some of these symptoms.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEF
          Nephron
          10.1159/issn.1660-8151
          Nephron
          S. Karger AG
          1660-8151
          2235-3186
          1988
          1988
          09 December 2008
          : 50
          : 2
          : 121-128
          Affiliations
          Division of Nephrology, The Health Sciences Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
          Article
          185141 Nephron 1988;50:121–128
          10.1159/000185141
          3065660
          © 1988 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. 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.

          Page count
          Pages: 8
          Categories
          Original Paper

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