Health-related quality of life of patients undergoing haemodialysis therapy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)


Background: Patients with kidney failure on maintenance haemodialysis therapy have a lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) than matched controls without kidney failure. HRQOL is an important predictor of clinical outcomes among patients with kidney failure, yet there is a paucity of such data in Tanzania. We determined HRQOL among Tanzanian patients with kidney failure receiving maintenance haemodialysis therapy.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam, from June to October 2020. MNH is a tertiary public sector hospital with 50 dialysis machines. Here, the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form-36 questionnaire was used to assess HRQOL in 209 patients (69% male; mean age 51.9 ± 13.5 years). Their scores were categorized as low if the overall mean was ≤50, and as high if the score was >50. Factors associated with lower HRQOL were identified using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Overall HRQOL was low (mean score 48.9 ±13.9) and the factors associated with the scores recorded were having less than three haemodialysis treatment sessions per week [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.356, 95% CI 0.707–2.254] and urea reduction ratio <65% (OR 2.229, 95% CI 1.238–3.014).

Conclusions: The overall HRQOL of patients undergoing haemodialysis was low. Receiving less than three haemodialysis sessions per week and having a urea reduction ratio of less than 65% were associated with lower scores. These findings underscore the importance of providing adequate haemodialysis treatment in improving the quality of life of patients with kidney failure.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

African Journal of Nephrology