The purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of an empowerment program on empowerment level, self-care self-efficacy and depression in patients with end-stage renal disease. The study was a randomized controlled trial; qualified patients in two dialysis centers of major hospitals in southern Taiwan were randomly assigned into an empowerment group (n=25) and a control group (n=25). The empowerment program included identification of problem areas for self-management; exploration of emotions associated with these problems; development of a set of goals and strategies to overcome these problems to achieve these goals; creation and implementation of behavioral change plans; and stress management. The outcomes measured were the Empowerment Scale, the Strategies Used by People to Promote Health and the Beck Depression Inventory. Data were collected at baseline and 6 weeks following intervention. Primary statistical analysis was by means of t-test and analysis of covariance. The results indicated that scores of the empowerment (t(48)=6.54, p<0.001), self-care self-efficacy (F(1,47)=10.82, p=0.002) and depression (t(48)=2.49, p=0.03) in the empowerment group have a significantly greater improvement than the control group.