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Background: Fatigue is prevalent in hemodialysis patients who for survival follow a strict dialysis treatment regimen – dialysis and non-dialysis days. As a result, the daily activities, symptom burden, and clinical outcomes of hemodialysis patients vary significantly between dialysis and non-dialysis days. Fatigue is one of the most reported debilitating symptoms by hemodialysis patients with profound negative impact on their quality of life. Prior studies assessed fatigue during the preceding 7 or 30 days and did not discriminate fatigue characteristics between dialysis and non-dialysis days. We aimed to characterize and compare fatigue severity and fatigue interference with daily activities between dialysis and non-dialysis days. Methods: Hemodialysis patients self-reported fatigue on consecutive dialysis and non-dialysis days using the 9-item Brief Fatigue Inventory. The differences in fatigue characteristics between dialysis and non-dialysis days were analyzed using one-way ANCOVA. Results: Global fatigue burden was worse on a dialysis day compared to a non-dialysis day (P for all < 0.001). Age and education were associated with fatigue, but hemodialysis-related variables were not. A significant inverse association of physical activity with fatigue severity observed on non-dialysis day; there was also a negative association between the normalized protein catabolic rate and fatigue severity on both dialysis and non-dialysis days. The positive association of depression with fatigue severity and fatigue interference were consistent on both dialysis and non-dialysis days. None of these factors, however, explained differences in fatigue characteristics between dialysis and non-dialysis days. Conclusions: Fatigue, measured in severity and interference, was more pronounced on a dialysis day relative to a non-dialysis day. These differences were not explained by age, sex, education, hemodialysis-related variables, habitual exercise, nutritional status, and or depression. The quantitative measures of fatigue characteristics may facilitate future interventional trials design and better fatigue management for hemodialysis patients.
Debnath, S., Rueda, R., Bansal, S., Kasinath, B. S., Sharma, K., & Lorenzo, C. (2021). Fatigue characteristics on dialysis and non-dialysis days in patients with chronic kidney failure on maintenance hemodialysis. BMC Nephrology, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12882-021-02314-0