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Subjective cognitive complaints in end-stage renal disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Chan, F. H. F., Goh, Z. S, Zhu, X. , Car, L. T., Newman, S. P. ORCID: 0000-0001-6712-6079, Khan, B. A. & Griva, K. (2022). Subjective cognitive complaints in end-stage renal disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Health Psychology Review, doi: 10.1080/17437199.2022.2132980


Cognitive impairment is common in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and is associated with compromised quality of life and functional capacity, as well as worse clinical outcomes. Most previous research and reviews in this area were focused on objective cognitive impairment, whereas patients’ subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs) have been less well-understood. This systematic review aimed to provide a broad overview of what is known about SCCs in adult ESRD patients. Electronic databases were searched from inception to January 2022, which identified 221 relevant studies. SCCs appear to be highly prevalent in dialysis patients and less so in those who received kidney transplantation. A random-effects meta-analysis also shows that haemodialysis patients reported significantly more SCCs than peritoneal dialysis patients (standardised mean difference −0.20, 95% confidence interval −0.38 to −0.03). Synthesis of longitudinal studies suggests that SCCs remain stable on maintenance dialysis treatment but may reduce upon receipt of kidney transplant. Furthermore, SCCs in ESRD patients have been consistently associated with hospitalisation, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and poorer quality of life. There is limited data supporting a strong relation between objective and subjective cognition but preliminary evidence suggests that this association may be domain-specific. Methodological limitations and future research directions are discussed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Health Psychology Review on 11 Oct 2022, available at:
Publisher Keywords: Subjective cognitive complaint, end-stage renal disease, dialysis, kidney transplantation, systematic review, meta-analysis
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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