Kidney disease and related treatments can affect patients’ daily activities; however, their impact on quality of life (QoL) and the role played by psychosocial factors are not completely clear. The first aim of this study was to evaluate QoL (measured by the WHOQOL-Brief) and psychological well-being of patients with chronic renal failure and differences according to some socio-demographic variables (gender, age), and type of treatment (hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, post-transplantation). Secondly, among patients in dialysis, we wanted to verify the impact of some psychosocial variables, such as illness representations, coping strategies and perceived support from the social network, on QoL and psychological well-being. The sample includes 104 patients in dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) and 34 who had received kidney transplantation. Patients in dialysis show lower QoL than posttransplantation patients in several QoL domains, while differences between type of dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) are not statistically significant. Results indicate that among patients in dialysis, the perception of renal disease as more controllable, the adoption of active coping strategies and a perception of a large supportive social network can improve QoL. The study has strong implications for clinical practice and prevention.
Keywords: Quality of life, dialysis, illness representations, coping, social support, kidney transplantation.