Ecological Momentary Assessment to Explore Fatigue, Mood, and Physical Activity Levels in People Receiving Peritoneal Dialysis

Brett Tarca, Shilpanjali Jesudason, Thomas P. Wycherley, Richard Le Leu, Michelle Ovenden, Anthony Meade, Paul N. Bennett, Terry Boyle, Katia E. Ferrar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Fatigue is a frequent and debilitating symptom that contributes to poor quality of life for people receiving peritoneal dialysis. Ecological momentary assessment using mobile technology (mEMA) is a novel survey technique that can collect symptom data in real-time and has not been trialed in a peritoneal dialysis cohort. The study aimed to explore real-time fluctuations and associations between fatigue, mood, and physical activity using mEMA. Methods: Adults receiving peritoneal dialysis completed fatigue and mood scales, via a mobile application (app), 5 times daily for 7 days and, concurrently wore an accelerometer. A feasibility questionnaire was completed on the eighth day. Results: Forty-eight adults completed the study. Within-day fatigue fluctuations were observed with severity lowest during mid-morning to early afternoon and peaking at bedtime. Associations between fatigue and mood were observed with a 1-unit change in mood score conferring a 5.2-unit change in fatigue (P < 0.01). Higher volume of physical activity was associated with lower fatigue and enhanced mood. Overall adherence to the app-based surveys was 73% with most participants reporting mobile phones and the mEMA app being easy to use. Conclusion: People receiving peritoneal dialysis experience within day and day-to-day fluctuations in fatigue that appear highly variable. Higher fatigue severity was associated with poorer mood and lower physical activity levels with future studies required to explore if physical activity-based interventions could be a potential strategy for the management of these symptoms. Furthermore, mEMA, and mobile phones, were feasible to capture symptom data with potential to be employed in future research or, as part of improved care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalKidney International Reports
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • ecological momentary assessment
  • fatigue
  • feasibility
  • mood
  • peritoneal dialysis
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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