The Future of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease

According to a story from, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is going to be significantly impacted in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), especially as the disease progresses. Biomarkers such as estimated glomerular filtration are of use for measuring disease activity, but don’t give the full story about the symptoms and quality of life a patient is experiencing. Therefore, patient self-reporting has become more important and the use of electronic patient reported outcome measures (ePROMs) is likely to increase in the future. A recent study gathered some data on patient and clinician perspectives on using such platforms.

About Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is an illness in which the functionality of the kidneys is affected over time. This progressive disease can occur over a period of months or years and often results in eventual kidney failure. This disease often causes no symptoms at first. There are a number of risk factors for chronic kidney disease, such as diabetes, glomerulonephritis, family history, and high blood pressure. The cause is not known in all cases. As the disease progresses, symptoms such as leg swelling, confusion, fatigue, vomiting, loss of appetite, heart disease, bone disease, anemia, and high blood pressure may appear. Treatment may include dietary changes, certain medications, and, in later stages, dialysis or kidney transplant. The most common cause of death for people with chronic kidney disease is cardiovascular disease, which may appear before the kidneys completely shut down. To learn more about chronic kidney disease, click here.

About The Study

The small scale study included patients with advanced disease that was not dialysis-dependent. A total of 12 patients were involved, with 11 of them being 50 years or older. The patients mostly indicated a willingness to regularly submit ePROMs as a part of their treatment regimen. However, there were concerns about patient burden and limitations to internet access and the use of electronic devices. Regardless, patients felt that ePROMs could help gather important data, improve communication between patients and caregivers, and reduce the frequency of hospital visits.

22 clinicians were also surveyed about ePROMs. Both groups felt that they could pose a significant burden if submitted at a frequency of more than once a month. Clinicians also felt that their use should be based on their ability to have a positive impact on outcomes.

Ultimately, it seems that ePROMs could play a significant role in the future management of chronic kidney disease and potentially other long term illnesses in the future. 

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