Exploring Problems in Following the Hemodialysis Diet and Their Relation to Energy and Nutrient Intakes: The BalanceWise Study

David E. St-Jules, Kathleen Woolf, Mary Lou Pompeii, Mary Ann Sevick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To identify the problems experienced by hemodialysis (HD) patients in attempting to follow the HD diet and their relation to energy and nutrient intakes. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the BalanceWise Study. Subjects: Participants included community-dwelling adults recruited from outpatient HD centers. After excluding participants with incomplete dietary analyses (n= 50), 140 African American and white (40/60%) men and women (52/48%) on chronic intermittent HD for at least 3 months (median 3 years) were included. Intervention: Participant responses, on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from "not at all a problem" to "a very important problem for me," to 34 questions pertaining to potential barriers to following the HD diet in the previous 2 months were classified as either a problem (1) or not a problem (2-5). Main Outcome Measure: Energy and nutrient intakes determined using the Nutrition Data System for Research® based on 3, non-consecutive, unscheduled, 2-pass 24-hour dietary recalls collected on 1 dialysis and 1 non-dialysis weekday, and 1 non-dialysis weekend day. Results: More than half of participants reported having problems related to specific behavioral factors (e.g., feeling deprived), technical difficulties (e.g., tracking nutrients), and physical condition (e.g., appetite), but issues of time and food preparation and behavioral factors tended to be most deterministic of reported dietary intakes. Longer duration of HD was associated with lower intakes of protein, potassium, and phosphorus (p < .05). Conclusion: Registered dietitian nutritionists should consider issues of time and food preparation, and behavioral factors in their nutrition assessment of HD patients and should continually monitor HD patients for changes in protein intake that may occur over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring Problems in Following the Hemodialysis Diet and Their Relation to Energy and Nutrient Intakes: The BalanceWise Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this