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Arch Hellen Med, 25(2), March-April 2008, 201-208


Quality of life of patients and quality of health care after renal transplantation

1Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Department of Health and Welfare Units' Management, Athens,
2Academy of Athens, Institute of Biomedical Research, Hellenic Cord Blood Bank, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was the evaluation of specific aspects of health-related quality of life, and the quality of the health services/care offered to patients who have undergone successful kidney transplant.

METHOD The study was conducted in Athens in 2005, using a sample of 212 patients who had undergone successful kidney transplantation. Questionnaires were completed by the patients, applying the self reference method, when they were visiting the out-patient department. For the purposes of the research, the following data collection tools were used: The "Health Survey SF 36", for evaluation of the physical and socio-psychological health of the patients, and the "Health Survey of transplanted patients" for evaluation of their ability to work, formulation of new concepts of health, satisfaction of the doctor-patient relationship, and the quality of health care offered after the kidney transplant.

RESULTS Ability to work, to a greater extent, and the formulation of positive ideas about health and life, to a lesser extent, were found to be dependent upon gender, age, the duration of hemodialysis before the transplant, the duration of renal failure before hemodialysis, the frequency of hospitalization, and persistence of the symptoms. The perception of the patients about the doctor's role in the doctor-patient relationship was dependent to a great extent on the impact of the symptoms experienced during the transplant period, while the perception of the patients of their own role was dependent on the level of education and the duration of the transplant period. The satisfaction of the patients with the quality of the health care offered was dependent upon educational level the appearance and the impact of the symptoms and on the frequency of hospitalization.

CONCLUSIONS Patients' satisfaction with their quality of life tends to decrease during the years after a kidney transplant, reaching a limit five years after the successful transplant operation. The quality of the health services determines to a great extent the patients' evaluation of their quality of life. The provision of holistic health care is expected to give an increase of 21% in physical health, an increase of 50% in psychosocial health and an increase of 15% in ability for work after a kidney transplant.

Key words: Doctor-patient relationship, Health related quality of life, Patient satisfaction, Quality of health care, Renal transplantation.

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