The effect of frequent hemodialysis on self-reported sleep quality: Frequent Hemodialysis Network Trials Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Many patients who receive maintenance hemodialysis experience poor sleep. Uncontrolled studies suggest frequent hemodialysis improves sleep quality, which is a strong motivation for some patients to undertake the treatment. We studied the effects of frequent in-center ('daily') and nocturnal home hemodialysis on self-reported sleep quality in two randomized trials. METHODS: Participants were randomly assigned to frequent (six times per week) or conventional (three times per week) hemodialysis in the Frequent Hemodialysis Network Daily (n = 245) and Nocturnal (n = 87) Trials. We used the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Problems Index II (SPI II), a validated and reliable instrument in patients with end-stage renal disease, to measure self-reported sleep quality. The SPI II is scored from 0-100, with a higher value indicating poorer quality of sleep. A mean relative decline in SPI II would suggest improved sleep quality. The primary sleep outcome was the change in the SPI II score over 12 months. RESULTS: In the Daily Trial, after adjustment for baseline SPI II, subjects randomized to frequent as compared with conventional in-center hemodialysis experienced a 4.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.4-8.0] point adjusted mean relative decline in SPI II at 4 months and a 2.6 (95% CI -2.3-7.5) point adjusted mean relative decline at 12 months. In the Nocturnal Trial, subjects randomized to frequent nocturnal as compared with conventional home hemodialysis experienced 2.9 (95% CI -3.4-9.3) and 4.5 (95% CI -3.2-12.2) point mean relative declines at Months 4 and 12, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Although a possible benefit of frequent in-center hemodialysis was observed at 4 months, neither frequent in-center hemodialysis nor home nocturnal hemodialysis demonstrated significant improvements in self-reported sleep quality compared with conventional hemodialysis at 12 months.


  • Unruh, Mark L
  • Larive, Brett
  • Eggers, Paul W
  • Garg, Amit
  • Gassman, Jennifer J
  • Finkelstein, Fredric O
  • Kimmel, Paul L
  • Chertow, Glenn M

publication date

  • June 2016