Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Phillip J. Brantley


The goal of the current study was to gain knowledge of the role that dietary compliance plays in the survival of end-stage renal failure patients receiving chronic in-center hemodialysis. As a result of this type of research, health care professionals may better understand the individual and collective influence that various aspects of dietary compliance have on survival. This knowledge would also be helpful in the identification and intervention of dietary noncompliance in hemodialysis patients. The present study investigated the relation of three commonly employed physiological parameters of dietary compliance to survival on hemodialysis and how well these dietary variables independently and relative to important demographic/medical history variables, predict survival in these patients. Subjects in this study included 110 hemodialysis patients from two hemodialysis centers in a large southern city. Predictor variables included three dietary variables, serum potassium, interdialysis weight gain, blood urea nitrogen; three demographic variables, age, sex, race; and three medical history variables, age at onset of chronic dialysis, years on dialysis, and number of concurrent diagnoses. The criterion variable was group, survivors or deceased, for the discriminant function analyses conducted or length of survival for the regression analyses. Correlational procedures, discriminant function analyses, and multiple regression analyses were employed to investigate the role that dietary compliance plays in the survival of hemodialysis patients. In general, the results suggest that dietary compliance variables, as measured in this study, play a minimal role in the survival of end-stage renal failure patients. The three dietary variables studied offered little to the prediction of survival after the effects of important demographic/medical history variables were considered. The results also garnered support for the use of multiple measures of dietary variables instead of single data points when conducting this type of research. In summary, the current study failed to provide support for the validity of dietary compliance variables as good predictors of survival in hemodialysis patients. The current findings should be interpreted conservatively, however, pending further research on the reliability and validity of the employed measures of dietary compliance.