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PARF Researcher Spotlight

Thursday 26 March 2020

Improving outcomes that matter to people on haemodialysis

Kidney disease is a common, progressive and debilitating condition, affecting 10% of Australians, and is currently the 10th leading cause of death.

Haemodialysis (HD) is the most common treatment for kidney failure, yet it is burdensome, time consuming and costly (costing $1.1 billion per year in Australia alone). Patients are required to undergo haemodialysis three times per week, and each treatment lasts about 4-6 hours per session.

Patients on haemodialysis often experience severe and overwhelming pain, fatigue, itching nausea and depression, and report reduced quality of life

Dr Andrea Viecelli is the lead researcher on a project aimed at improving outcomes that matter to people on haemodialysis. The team are looking to assess whether iPad-based collection of symptoms that patients may experience with feedback to the treating clinicians is feasible, and acceptable in preparation for a large study to determine whether this intervention improves patient quality of life and survival.

In addition, this research project will validate critically important outcome measures for HD research based on the shared priorities of patients, caregivers and health professionals, established through the Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology (SONG) initiative to ensure global implementation of these core outcomes in research and clinical practice

In Australia, this research could have far-reaching benefits, with a predicted 7% improvement in the quality of life of people on haemodialysis, and this would translate to a gain of 613 years of life lived in perfect health per year, an outcome valued at $31 million per year.

Globally, this could change practice and outcomes for the more than two million patients worldwide currently on haemodialysis. You can support this incredible research here.


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