Background: Pruritus is common in dialysis patients, but no studies have addressed its impact on the patients' quality of life (QoL). Objective: We sought to measure the impact of pruritus on the QoL of patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD). Methods: Pruritus intensity was measured on a 10-point visual analog scale. QoL was investigated with the 36-item Short Form of the Medical Outcomes Study questionnaire (SF-36), the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and a dermatological questionnaire (Skindex-29). Results: One hundred and thirty-nine patients on HD and 30 on PD were recruited. Pruritus was found in 88/169 patients (52.1%), with no differences between HD and PD patients. Prevalence of poor sleep in patients with pruritus was higher than in those without (59% vs. 11%; p<0.001). Both physical and mental scores of SF-36 did not correlate with the presence and the intensity of pruritus. Pruritus intensity was significantly related to poor scores in all 3 subscales of Skindex-29 (symptoms, social function and emotions). In the subscales of social function and emotions, worse scores were observed in patients undergoing HD and with minor psychiatric disorders (GHQpos). Conclusions: Pruritus had a high level of impact on all aspects of QoL and was a predictor of poor sleep. Type of dialysis and minor psychiatric disorders affect the emotional and social aspects of QoL.
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