The concept of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), a patient-reported outcome measure, is poorly defined within the Saudi literature. There is a lack of culturally adapted measures to assess the HRQoL of patients on hemodialysis in Saudi Arabia. Hence, this study aims to explore and define the concept of HRQoL, identify its key domains and develop a conceptual model as perceived by patients with renal failure who are undergoing hemodialysis in Saudi Arabia.
Qualitative research methods was used; data were collected in one dialysis center in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. Twenty-two semi structured qualitative interviews were conducted using a topic guide. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis methods as the transcripts were coded, the categories identified, and the themes generated.
Seven definitions of the HRQoL concept emerged from data analysis in terms of health status and psychological wellbeing including the satisfaction with life, socialization and the ability to play the expected social role and having social relationships that are supportive, religiosity and the belief in God and being able to perform religious worships and finally needs satisfaction was used to define HRQoL which included financial needs and the quality of healthcare services. All these themes were utilized to develop one common definition that emphasized the personal satisfaction with health, social, psychological and financial needs in addition to religious performance and the quality of healthcare services provided. The conceptual model was developed using five key domains of HRQoL: physiological, social, psychological, religious and vocational domains that were defined by certain indicators and the relationships between the domains were clarified in the model.
The findings of this study could guide the selection of the appropriate HRQoL instrument to assess the HRQoL of patients on hemodialysis in Saudi Arabia, which would ensure the validity of the findings that could be used in healthcare decisions and planning of care.