Predictors of depression in hemodialysis patients: Social/cognitive variables and adequacy of dialysis

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Kent F. Burnett, Committee Chair


To examine whether the adequacy of dialysis influences the level of depression in patients undergoing dialysis, 100 dialysis patients were randomly assigned to two groups in a cross-over study. Both groups were studied during three distinct 6-week periods (T1, T2, and T3). Group A received a "high" level of dialysis at T1 and T3 and a "normal" level of dialysis at T2. Group B, on the other hand, received a "normal" level of dialysis at T1 and T3 and a "high" level of dialysis at T2. The number of patients remaining until the end of the study was 41. The level of dialysis was assessed using the Kt/V index, which is highly correlated with the level of urea clearance. Depression was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Other psychological variables were also examined in relation to depression, including coping style, dependency, social support, and spirituality. Level of dialysis did not correlate highly with level of depression during the study. Lack of social self-confidence, a measure of dependency, was consistently related to increased depression in the regression analysis, reaching significance at T3. Anxiety was significantly correlated with depression throughout the study and Social Support was negatively correlated with depression throughout the study.


Psychology, Social; Health Sciences, Medicine and Surgery; Psychology, Clinical

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