Background and aims. Assessment of Health-related Quality of Life in chronic hemodialysis patients (CHD) is a predictive indicator of the outcome of the disease, including mortality and hospitalization. Regular surveys of the quality of life (QoL) in CHD patients have been conducted  worldwide, using various, internationally validated and standardized tools, including the Missoula-VITAS Quality of Life Index scale (MVQOLI). The aim of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of the Bulgarian version of the Missoula-VITAS Quality of Life Index-15 (B-MVQOLI-15) and QoL in CHD patients using this instrument.

Methods. Our study was designed as multi-center cross-sectional. It incorporated 263 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on CHD from across the country and applied the B-MVQOLI-15. Internal consistency and convergent validity of the index were assessed. Non-parametric methods were used to evaluate  the impact of demographic factors on the different dimensions scores and on the total score. The relationship between the total QoL score, the total MVQOLI-15 score and dimensions scores were measured based on Spearman's rho Correlation Coefficient.

Results. The total MVQOLI-15 score in the study was 16.44, which is slightly above the middle of the index scale. The patients with higher education were less satisfied with the level of their symptom control compared to patients with lower education. However, high education patients seem to manage better with everyday life compared to those with low education. Men seem to feel more satisfied  than women when fulfilling their daily activities (Р=0.026). Retired patients and unemployed expressed more satisfaction, compared to the employed (P=0.021). Also, patients on dialysis for over 5 years had lower QoL scores (Р=0.043).

Conclusions. B-MVQOLI-15 is a reliable instrument to measure QoL in Bulgarian patients with CHD. The majority of CHD patients rate their QoL as “Fair“. Four of all five dimensions positively affect the QoL of CHD patients. The most important dimensions positively affecting the QoL of CHD patients were: interpersonal relationships and transcendent factors. Future studies are necessary to assess the adequacy of the delivered dialysis, the level of medico-social care and the needs of ESRD patients treated with CHD in order to improve their QoL.


end-stage renal disease, hemodialysis, quality of life, Missoula Vitas Quality of Life Index