3.0 Home Haemodialysis (HHD) – The Benefits of Frequent Dialysis

Sophie Halldin, RN,Renal Unit in Haemodialysis Department, Danderyds Sjukhus AB, Stockholm Sweden

Carol Rhodes, RGN, Senior Sister, Renal Unit, Royal Derby Hospital, UK


There are many benefits of Home Haemodialysis, and many of these include improvements in health outcomes and quality of life. Reasons for this could be:

  • You manage your treatment so it is easier to follow recommended restrictions.
  • Your self-esteem may increase as you regain control of your health and your life.
  • In the home environment, you can choose to, and you are able to do more frequent dialysis and more hours of dialysis.
  • Compared to conventional, dialysis Home Haemodialysis, you have increased freedom and flexibility. The time used for travelling and waiting to receive dialysis treatment at the clinic can be used for socializing with family and friends, with spare time for activities and work. Even on dialysis you can be part of family activities1.

In this chapter, we will talk about some benefits of Home Haemodialysis. There are of course risks and it will not suit everyone2

3.1 Improved physical health

Patients who do Home Haemodialysis compared to conventional dialysis have reported significant improvements in their physical health which includes the following3;

3.1.1 Better control of fluid (weight gain on dialysis)4,5,6

  • More regular dialysis reduces weight gain between dialysis sessions.
  • Better fluid control means less cramps and episodes of low blood pressure during dialysis.
  • Better fluid control reduces the risk of your heart muscle being damaged and causing heart failure4,5,6,7.

3.1.2 Improved blood pressure

  • Blood pressure reduction is a consistent benefit of Home Haemodialysis. This can mean less blood pressure medications.

3.1.3 Improved blood biochemistry

When the kidneys stop working you lose the ability to control your phosphate, potassium, calcium and salts.

  • With dialysis, these improve and with frequent dialysis further improvements are seen. This can mean less diet restrictions4,8.

3.1.4 Improvement in nutritional status

  • Less need for dietary restrictions4,8,9.
  • Improved appetite9,10.

3.1.5 Improved fertility and pregnancy

Pregnancy in women with end stage renal disease on renal replacement therapy is uncommon.

  • For those able to conceive, more frequent /or longer dialysis sessions, offers improved outcomes11,12.

3.1.6 Survival (how long you live)

  • Home Haemodialysis provides improvements in survival compared to regular haemodialysis at a clinic (mainly due to longer hours)4,13,14.
  • The long-term survival on Home Haemodialysis is good, has improved over time, and can be a good alternative to renal transplantation for some people4,14.

3.2 Enhanced Quality of life

Most patients with end-stage kidney disease experience several physical, mental, and psychosocial problems that have a major impact on quality of life. Studies have reported the following benefits;

3.2.1 Recovery Time

  • One of the most striking changes noted with frequent Haemodialysis is that recovery time or post dialysis fatigue is shortened and you can go back to normal daily activities shortly after completing your Home Haemodialysis treatment15,16.

3.2.2 Improved vitality and energy

  • Improvements in patient self-reported vitality and energy may occur17.
  • There is improvement in sex-related hormones which can improve the quality of sexual relationships18.

3.2.3 Decreased medication burden

  • The improved physical health often leads to less medications.

3.2.4 Improved sleep quality

  • Sleep quality and sleep apnoea may improve16,19,20.

3.2.5 Changed mental capacity

  • Studies have found significant improvement in depression scores, many suggesting a positive emotional impact of treatment with more frequent Home Haemodialysis15,16.
  • Many people find their brain seems less foggy and they can think more clearly21.

3.2.6 Freedom

  • You experience increased freedom because you control your own times for dialysis16.
  • You can take responsibility for your own health and can choose how to balance dialysis with work or your daily activities.


More frequent dialysis can improve your health in many ways and this can have a positive impact on overall quality of life. It is important to remember that everyone is individual and some see more benefits than others.


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18 Van E, et al. Changes in serum prolactine, sex hormones and thyroid function with alternate nightly nocturnal home haemodialysis. Nephrology. Vlome 17, Issue 1. 2012, 42-47

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At-home short hemodialysis improves the long-term helalth- rrelated quality of life. Kidney Int. 2012; 82(5):561-9

20. Jaber B. et al. Impact of At-home Short Daily Hemodialysis on Restless Legs Symptoms and Sleep Disturbances. CJASN 2011

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