Improving Hemodialysis Patients’ Quality of Life by Training them in Coping and Communicating Skills: an Interventional Study

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Office of the Research Vice-chancellor of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Tehran Psychiatric Institute, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objectives: Low quality of life in hemodialysis patients is a major factor leading to cardiovascular diseases and other important outcomes such as hospitalization and death. The present study attempted to examine the impacts of training intervention on perceived psychological health and quality of life among hemodialysis patients. Methods: In this cross-sectional intervention study, 51 hemodialysis patients were examined using census sampling method. The Short Form (SF-36) Health Survey was used to assess psychological quality of life for these patients. For 7 patients with psychological health scores (1SD) lower than the mean score, a supplementary questionnaire (Hamilton rating scale for depression and anxiety) was administered by a psychologist, to confirm existence of and identify the type of a psychological disorder. Then a training course on coping and communicating skills was developed and implemented. The effect of training program on patients’ targeted skills was examined by post-intervention administration of the Hamilton rating scale. T-test was used for comparison of the mean values between the two genders. Findings: While women gained higher mean scores than men in role physical, role emotional, vitality, mental health, social functioning, and bodily pain, and men scored higher in physical functioning and general health. No significant difference in HRQOL dimensions was found between the two genders, but in bodily pain (P < 0.05). After training, a 20% enhancement in the coping and communicating skills was achieved. Conclusions: Training of hemodialysis patients can lead to improvement of their coping and communicative skills, thereby enhancing their quality of life. Hence this study recommends systematic inclusion of training-based HRQOL improvement interventions as an integral part of a comprehensive hemodialysis patient treatment strategy.