Poor Social Support May Hurt Kidney Patients

Those on dialysis more prone to early death, low quality of life if social support is low
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis patients may be more vulnerable to premature death, low physical quality of life, and lack of adherence to doctors' recommendations if they have little support from family and friends, according to research published online Oct. 21 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

By analyzing data on 32,332 hemodialysis patients from 12 countries between 1996 and 2008, Aurélie Untas, of the Université de Bordeaux in France, and colleagues investigated the impact of social support and other psychosocial factors on mortality, adherence to recommended medical care, and physical quality of life.

The researchers found a higher mortality rate among the patients who reported feelings of isolation and being a burden, health-related interference with social activities, and low satisfaction with family support. Low family support and various psychosocial measures were related to poor adherence to recommended health care measures as well as to poor physical quality of life.

"Poorer social support and other psychosocial factors are associated with higher mortality risk, lower adherence to medical care, and poorer physical quality of life in hemodialysis patients. More research is needed to assess whether interventions to improve social support and other psychosocial factors will lengthen survival and enhance quality of life," the authors write.

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