The End-Stage Renal Disease Symptom Checklist – Transplantation Module (ESRD-SCL®) was developed to assess the specific physical and psychological quality of life of renal transplant recipients, with a special focus on side effects of immune system suppression therapy. A list of potentially relevant items was administered to 458 transplant recipients. The symptoms present in >20% of patients were chosen, and factor analysis was used to create the final questionnaire which consists of 43 items in six dimensions: (1) limited physical capacity (10 items; internal consistency: Cronbach’s α = 0.85); (2) limited cognitive capacity (8 items, α = 0.82); (3) cardiac and renal dysfunction (7 items, α = 0.76); (4) side effects of corticosteroids (5 items, α = 0.77); (5) increased growth of gum and hair (5 items, α = 0.78), and (6) transplantation-associated psychological distress (8 items, α = 0.80). All questions are scored on a five-point Likert scale. Validity was demonstrated in correlation with corresponding SF-36 scales and in a stepwise hierarchical regression model predicting the subscales of the ESRD-SCL by sociodemographic and medical data. The ESRD-SCL was found to have adequate reliability, test-retest correlations in a subsample of 88 stable patients after 1 year, and construct validity.

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