Characteristics of depression in hemodialysis patients: symptoms, quality of life and mortality risk

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. Jul-Aug 2006;28(4):306-12. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2006.03.008.


Background: Depression is often underrecognized in patients with end-stage renal disease. We interviewed outpatients at an urban dialysis facility using a criterion-based case-finding instrument to assess the rates, clinical correlates and outcomes of depression.

Methods: The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Mood Module and the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire were used to assess depression. We measured health-related quality of life using the Kidney Disease and Quality of Life Short Form, and medical comorbidities were measured using the Charlson Comorbidity Index. We compared the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and health-related quality of life of depressed and nondepressed patients using t tests and the chi-square test, and we used a Cox regression model to test the relationship between depression and mortality.

Results: We interviewed 62 patients and followed them for a mean of 29 months (range, 0.1-36). Seventeen (28%) had major or minor depression. Depressed patients were younger and had lower health-related quality of life than did nondepressed patients. Depression predicted mortality (HR=4.1, 95% CI=1.5-32.2, P<.05) after adjusting for age, gender, race, medical comorbidities, albumin, kt/V and/or the presence of diabetes.

Conclusions: Depression is common and associated with decreased health-related quality of life and increased mortality in hemodialysis patients. Clinical trials are necessary to examine whether treatment of depression can improve these outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Demography
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / rehabilitation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality*
  • Renal Dialysis / psychology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires