The side effects of three-times-weekly in-center dialysis may affect patients' physical and mental quality of life. Patients may feel mentally, emotionally, and physically worn down. Family members are often the first to notice that their loved ones are affected by generalized symptoms of "mental fogginess" or "the blahs" that make it difficult for them to engage in activities of daily living.
Here's what studies have shown:
The FREEDOM study and other studies suggest that patients switching to daily home hemodialysis had significant improvements in these mental and physical quality of life scores compared to when they were on in-center dialysis. A major study has linked improvements in these scores to a lower risk of hospitalization and death.
Despite the health benefits that more frequent home hemodialysis may provide to those with chronic kidney disease, this form of therapy is not for everyone. The reported benefits of more frequent home hemodialysis may not be experienced by all patients. The risks associated with hemodialysis treatments in any environment include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, fluid overload, low blood pressure, heart-related issues, and vascular access complications. The medical devices used in hemodialysis therapies may add additional risks including air entering the bloodstream, and blood loss due to clotting or accidental disconnection of the blood tubing set. Certain risks are unique to the home. Treatments at home are done without the presence of medical personnel and on-site technical support. Patients and their care partners must be trained on what to do and how to get medical or technical help if needed.
To learn more about the responsibilities and risks of more frequent home hemodialysis, please click on Responsibilities & Risks of More Frequent Home Hemodialysis, and talk to your doctor to see if more frequent home hemodialysis with NxStage is right for you.
- Finkelstein F, et al. Daily home HD (DHD) improves quality of life (QOL) measures, depressive symptoms and recovery time: Interim results from the FREEDOM study. Abstract presentation at the American Society of Nephrology 2008 Annual Congress.
- Mapes DL, et al. Health-related quality of life as a predictor of mortality and hospitalization: The Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS). Kidney International. 2003;64:339-349.
- Goldfarb-Rumyantzev A, et al. A crossover study of short daily hemodialysis. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2006;21:166-175.