04-06 Depression remains untreated among patients of hemodialysis, finds study

Posted in Depression Treatment, Mental Illness

Depression remains untreated among patients of hemodialysis, finds study

Persistent feelings of sadness or emotions akin to despair may stem from anything. At times, extreme and prolonged sickness can also cause depression. While unhappiness is deemed normal in sick people, signs of depression should not go unnoticed in patients already taking treatment for some physical ailment. It demands attention and needs to be effectively treated.

A group of researchers in their study titled “Acceptance of Antidepressant Treatment by Patients on Hemodialysis and Their Renal Providers” has revealed that many patients being treated for kidney failure and receiving chronic hemodialysis exhibit signs of depression but show no intent to seek necessary treatment for overcoming the symptoms. The researchers also observed that even if kidney patients show keenness to accept depression treatment, the health providers usually do not recommend it. The study was published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) in January 2017.

The study is based on the premise that depression is prevalent among patients with kidney failure receiving prolonged hemodialysis, but may not be treated efficiently. The scientists for evaluation purposes asked 101 hemodialysis patients involved in a clinical trial to answer monthly questions regarding their depressive symptoms.

Out of the 101 respondents that the scientists had followed up with for a year, 39 met criteria for depressive disorder based on the information they provided. These 39 respondents had exhibited signs of depression during 147 out of 373 monthly assessments. Roughly 70 percent of these 147 assessments had been receiving anti-depressant therapy, while in 51 of 70 percent assessments, the patients had decided against nurses’ advice to advance the treatment procedure.

Reasons for delay in depression treatment

The main reason for not accepting depression treatment was the belief that depression is caused by an acute event, prolonged illness or dialysis. Also, in 61 percent of the cases where patients agreed to seek treatment, kidney specialists showed unwillingness to make available the necessary treatment.

While elaborating the purpose and implications of the study, lead author Dr. Steven Weisbord from VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said, “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Quality Improvement Program for end-stage renal disease recently mandated that all dialysis facilities report individual patient screening and treatment plans for depression; however, there is a paucity of evidence documenting the effectiveness of anti-depressant treatment in this patient population and it remains unknown whether patients on dialysis want treatment for depression.”

Treating depression is crucial to live a healthier life

The authors of the study noted that the possible underlying reasons for increased rates of depression symptoms in dialysis patients involve the overlap of some risk factors for depressive disorder and kidney failure apart from physiological and psychological changes owing to prolonged suffering from kidney failure. Depression may also seep in due to increased hospitalizations, reduced chances of survival and poor quality of life.

Depression, if not treated timely, mars the quality of life. The constant suffering and pain push people into a hollow of darkness and grief. It is necessary to seek expert advice to rid oneself or their loved ones from making depression a way of life.

If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, the Depression Treatment Centers of California can provide help on the best depression rehab centers in California which help a person regain control of his/her life. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-678-0400 or chat online with our representatives who can assist you in searching for state-of-the-art mental health treatment centers in California.


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