Physician Assistant M.S.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Naser, Lisa

Second Reader

Donald Hopper;


Within the last thirty years, in the United States alone, the number of patients receiving treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) doubled (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2018b). Previous research has indicated lower quality of life in patients with ESRD and has also shown further reduced quality of life with the presence of diabetes and obesity (eg. Liu, Yeh, Weng, Bai, & Chang, 2017). The purpose of this study was to determine the existence and nature of any relationship between quality of life and comorbidities of diabetes mellitus and obesity in ESRD patients receiving hemodialysis treatment. Mean quality of life scores were gathered from an electronic version of the WHOQOL-BREF survey distributed through use of a social media platform, Facebook. The survey was available on multiple kidney disease support group pages and the National Kidney Foundation Facebook page. Scores were determined based on WHOQOL-BREF scoring instructions and mean quality of life scores were then analyzed using unpaired t-tests across five domains: total, environmental factors, physical health, psychological health, and social relationships. Results of the study concluded that participants with comorbid diabetes reported decreased quality of life when compared to participants with obesity alone, diabetes and obesity, and those without comorbid diabetes or obesity. Participants with obesity reported lower quality of life scores when compared to participants with no comorbidities. Finally, participants without diabetes and obesity (control group) reported the highest quality of life scores across all domains. Findings from this study could be utilized to aid in further research including exploration of glycemic control or severity of obesity with regard to quality of life. More extensive research to determine causal factors with regard to this population may help to improve understanding and promote interventions to address quality of life in the ESRD population.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis