Project Leads: Jeffrey Johnson, Christopher McIntyre, Michael Walsh
Patient Group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients who are or were on dialysis
Regions: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario

Patients who receive dialysis for advanced kidney failure often experience various symptoms, including itching, pain, sleep disturbance, and depressed mood. These symptoms may bother patients and lower quality of life for a long time even with the use of medications or other treatments. How symptoms affect quality of life can be measured with specific questionnaires, called “patient-reported outcome measures”. We don’t know which questionnaire is the best at measuring symptoms in patients. It is also not known how we can best treat these symptoms, or why some patients continue to have symptoms.

We will work with patients to find the best way to measure and treat symptoms that bother patients the most, and we will determine why some people continue to have these symptoms despite treatment. We will search the medical literature to understand which questionnaire is best to use in patients on dialysis. Another search will be done to find the best potential treatments to reduce the suffering caused by the symptoms. After finding the best ways to measure and treat symptoms that cause problems, we will plan research studies to see if using the measurement tool in combination with the treatments improves quality of life. Patients will work with researchers to ensure the best questionnaires are used and to ensure they are implemented in a way that is acceptable to patients. We will also determine the effectiveness of new treatments for people with these symptoms.