Kidney disease quality of life 36-item short form survey (KDQOL-36) normative values for the United States dialysis population and new single summary score

John D. Peipert*, Devika Nair, Kristi Klicko, Dorian R. Schatell, Ron D. Hays

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background The Kidney Disease Quality of Life 36-item short form survey (KDQOL-36) is a widely used, patient-reported outcome measure for patients on dialysis. Efforts to aid interpretation are needed. Methods We used a sample of 58,851 dialysis patients participating in the Medical Education Institute (MEI) KDQOL Complete program, and 443,947 patients from the US Renal Data System (USRDS) to develop the KDQOL-36 Summary Score (KSS) for the kidney-targeted KDQOL-36 scales (Burdens of Kidney Disease [BKD], Symptoms and Problems of Kidney Disease [SPKD], and Effects of Kidney Disease [EKD]). We also used the MEI and USRDS data to calculate normative values for the Short Form-12 Health Survey’s Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS), and the KDQOL-36’s BKD, SPKD, and EKD scales for the United States dialysis population. We used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models for KDQOL-36 kidney-targeted items, evaluated model fit with the comparative fit index (CFI; .0.95 indicates good fit) and root-mean-squared error of approximation (RMSEA;,0.06 indicates good fit), and estimated norms by matching the joint distribution of patient characteristics in the MEI sample to those of the USRDS sample. Results A bifactor CFA model fit the data well (RMSEA=0.046, CFI=0.990), supporting the KSS (a=0.91). Mean dialysis normative scores were PCS=37.8 and MCS=50.9 (scored on a T-score metric); and KSS=73.0, BKD=52.8, SPKD=79.0, and EKD=74.1 (0–100 possible scores). Conclusions The KSS is a reliable summary of the KDQOL-36. The United States KDQOL-36 normative facilitate interpretation and incorporation of patient-related outcome measures into kidney disease care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-663
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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