Fatigue characteristics on dialysis and non-dialysis days in patients with chronic kidney failure on maintenance hemodialysis

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Abstract

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.

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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

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