Enhancing Quality of Life in Hemodialysis Patients through Guided Meditation


May 12, 2023

Enhancing Quality of Life in Hemodialysis Patients through Guided Meditation

The Impact of Guided Meditation on Quality of Life in Hemodialysis Patients

For people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are on maintenance hemodialysis, the challenges go far beyond just the physical toll of their condition. Emotional and cognitive struggles often add to their burden, impacting their overall quality of life. However, a study suggests that guided meditation, specifically Yoga nidra, may offer significant benefits in improving these patients' wellbeing.

The Study and Its Objective

The study aimed to explore the effects of guided meditation on the physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of wellbeing and quality of life in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. Researchers conducted a controlled experiment, collecting data before and after a 6-week intervention period.

Eighty patients participated, divided evenly into control and intervention groups. Their average age was 51 years. Hypertension and diabetes were the most common underlying causes of their CKD, followed by unexplained causes. 8.75% of these patients had been undergoing dialysis for less than a year.

The Impact of Guided Meditation

The results showed a statistically significant improvement in the intervention group, especially in terms of happiness and overall physical wellbeing. The guided meditation also had a significant positive effect on the burden and symptoms of kidney disease, as revealed by the Kidney Disease Quality of Life score, a tool specifically designed to evaluate the quality of life in kidney disease patients.

In addition, the study incorporated a qualitative analysis. Participants kept diaries of their subjective experiences related to listening to music and engaging in guided meditation. This analysis provided further insight into the benefits of the intervention. The most common experiences reported by participants (97.5% of them) were feelings of peace and inspiration to manage their illness and continue regular work.

Conclusions and Implications

The study concluded that guided meditation resulted in statistically significant improvements in several areas. Participants in the intervention group reported increased happiness, enthusiasm, inspiration, activeness, alertness, awareness, stability, self-confidence, and clarity of thoughts. They also noted better control over anger and enhanced self-reflection.

Moreover, the intervention reduced their perceived stress and improved their ability to manage the burden and effects of kidney disease. Overall, guided meditation had a positive impact on the total Kidney Disease Quality of Life score.

On a more personal level, the patients reported an increase in peace, inspiration to manage their illness and maintain their regular activities, improved concentration, and a decrease in laziness. They also reported better sleep patterns and a reduction in anger, among other psychological benefits.

The findings of this study have important implications for the management of patients with chronic kidney disease on maintenance hemodialysis. The inclusion of guided meditation as a part of their routine care could significantly enhance their physical, emotional, and cognitive wellbeing, and thereby improve their quality of life.

While more research is needed to further explore and confirm these benefits, this study provides promising evidence that non-pharmaceutical interventions like guided meditation can be an effective part of a comprehensive approach to patient care.


This video developed by Yoga Instructor Joelle Fixson is a guided meditation for patients on dialysis. Please consult your physician before attempting any form of meditation or making changes to your dialysis treatment.

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Study of effect of guided meditation on quality of life in patients of end stage renal disease (ESRD) on maintenance hemodialysis – a randomised controlled trial

What Is Yoga Nidra?

About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to TechWire.net and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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