Dialysis is a life-sustaining treatment for patients with advanced kidney failure, but it is extremely burdensome. Despite this, there are very few tools available to assess treatment burden within the dialysis population.

To conduct a scoping review of generic and disease-specific measures of treatment burden in chronic kidney disease, and assess their suitability for use within the dialysis population.

We searched CINAHL, MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library for kidney disease-specific measures of treatment burden. Studies were initially included if they described the development, validation or use of a treatment burden measure or associated concept (e.g., measures of treatment satisfaction, quality of life, illness intrusiveness, disease burden etc.) in adult patients with chronic kidney disease. We also updated a previous scoping review exploring measures of treatment burden in chronic disease to identify generic treatment burden measures.

One-hundred and two measures of treatment burden or associated concepts were identified. Four direct measures and two indirect measures of treatment burden were assessed, using adapted established criteria, for suitability for use within the dialysis population. The researchers outlined eight key dimensions of treatment burden: medication, financial, administrative, lifestyle, health care, time/travel, dialysis-specific factors, and health inequality. None of the measures adequately assessed all dimensions of treatment burden.

Current measures of treatment burden in dialysis are inadequate to capture the spectrum of issues that matter to patients. There is a need for dialysis-specific burdens and health inequality to be assessed when exploring treatment burden to advance patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Renal Care
Early online date12 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sept 2023


  • health inequality
  • scoping review
  • dialysis
  • measures
  • treatment burden


Dive into the research topics of 'Measures of treatment burden in dialysis: A scoping review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this