Patients on dialysis reluctant to treat depression
Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 27 : A new study finds that due to increased hospitalisations, many kidney failure patients are reluctant to receive treatment to fight their depression.The study, published in the journal of the American Society of Nephrology, also found that when patients were willing to accept treatment for depression, nephrologists avoided prescribing it.
To investigate the acceptance of anti-depressant treatment by patients on chronic hemodialysis and their doctors, a team led by Steven Weisbord from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, asked 101 hemodialysis patients in a clinical trial to complete a monthly questionnaire about depressive symptoms.
The patients were followed for at least one year and the findings indicated that 39 met criteria for depression based on their answers in the questionnaire.
The primary reason patients refused the recommendations was because they felt their depression was attributable to an acute event, chronic illness, or dialysis.
"Our study demonstrated that many patients on chronic hemodialysis have depressive symptoms but do not wish to receive aggressive treatment to alleviate these symptoms. We also noted that when patients are willing to accept treatment, renal providers commonly do not prescribe treatment," said Dr. Weisbord said.
"Depression in people receiving dialysis treatment is associated with lower quality of life, increased hospitalisations and in all likelihood, shortened survival," the authors wrote.
"The importance of the inner experience may get lost... in a setting of intensive medical intervention, intercurrent comorbidities and high rates of unwelcome events," they concluded.