Study reveals impact of acute kidney injury on physical and emotional health

Acute kidney injury (AKI), or a sudden case of kidney failure or kidney damage, can be a serious condition with long-term consequences. In a study published in Kidney360, investigators surveyed patients who survived AKI to reveal the extent of its physical, social, and emotional effects.

The study, relied on an anonymous online survey that was completed by 124 survivors of AKI in 2020. Among the major findings:

84% of respondents reported that the AKI episode was very/extremely impactful on physical/emotional health.
57% reported being very/extremely concerned about the effects of AKI on work and 67% were concerned about effects on family.
Only 52% of respondents rated medical team communication as very/extremely good.
Individuals ages 21–65 years at the time of the AKI episode were more likely than younger and older counterparts to rate the AKI episode as highly impactful overall (90% vs. 63% younger and 75% older), more impactful on family (78% vs. 50% and 46%) and more impactful on work (74% vs. 38% and 10%).
The results indicate that interventions are needed to improve the health-related quality-of-life of AKI survivors, and that healthcare professionals should provide more information when communicating with patients about AKI and follow-up care.

“This study provides critical new information about the potential severity and range of physical and emotional impacts of AKI. said lead author Galen E. Switzer, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh. “These findings should lead to the development of novel strategies to address such impacts.”

Study co-authors include Chethan M. Puttarajappa, MD, MS, Sandra L. Kane-Gill, PharmD, Linda F. Fried, MD, MPH, Kaleab Z. Abebe, Ph.D., John A. Kellum, MD, Manisha Jhamb, MD, MPH, Jessica G. Bruce, BA, Vidya Kuniyil, MD, Paul T. Conway, BA, Richard Knight, MBA, John Murphy, MBA, and Paul M. Palevsky, MD.