Do personal resources influence health-related quality of life for people receiving hemodialysis treatment in Latin America?
Alfonso Urzúa (Universidad Católica del Norte), Alejandra Caqueo-Urίzar (Universidad de Tarapacá), Japcy Margarita Quinceno (Universidad de San Buenaventura Bogotá), Stefano Vinaccia Alpi (Universidad Santo Tomás), and Nicole Pavlov (Universidad Católica del Norte), 2015, 43(3), 367–382

This is a valuable examination of the usefulness of personal resources in aiding health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), who are receiving hemodialysis. The findings will help improve HRQOL for patients in chronic disease treatment, particularly as there have been few studies conducted in Latin America, where this one was based.

Participants, whose ages ranged widely from 18 to 81 years, were receiving outpatient hemodialysis. There was no mention of home hemodialysis, which is popular in New Zealand, and which would relieve some of the burden of the disease in HRQOL. The hours of treatment for each session and traveling time are exhausting for patients.

Personal resources, as defined as an individual’s support in this study, ranged from family and friends to neighborhood or community. The authors found that personal resources provided the patients with support for issues such as protecting their physical health problems and the burden of the disease in HRQOL. It was particularly important for most of the patients who were not in paid employment, a situation that negatively affects quality of life, to have personal resources to rely on as extra support to promote HRQOL. The authors concluded that personal resources were vital in making the lives of people with ESRD more bearable, and suggested that the study could be replicated with more diverse and larger groups of people with ESRD to address the limitation of the small sample size.

ESRD is a relevant topic in New Zealand, because a bill is being brought to parliament that would increase payments to kidney donors. Live kidney donation is the least expensive form of treatment for ESRD, but organ donation rates in New Zealand are very low. It is to be hoped that this bill will improve this situation.

Katharine Samuel | Copyeditor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal