Aims. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of self-efficacy on depression and to consider the mediating effect of self-care behaviour.
Background. Depression is a problem for kidney transplant recipients and can compromise their quality of life. From other studies on chronic illnesses, self-efficacy and self-care behaviour have been considered to be potential determinants for depressive symptoms. However, none of these previous studies have investigated the relationships among these variables in kidney transplantation recipients.
Design. A cross-sectional survey employing correlation design and purposive sampling was used.
Methods. One hundred and seventy-seven persons who had received a kidney transplant participated. A self-administrated questionnaire and a medical record audit were used to collect data. The data were analysed using correlation and hierarchical linear regression methods.
Results. The average score of depressive symptoms was 8·61 SD 7·64. Among the participants in the study, 32·8% had scores of depressive symptoms higher than 11 (indicating mild to severe symptoms of depression). Self-efficacy and self-care behaviour had direct negative effects on depressive symptoms. Self-care behaviour had partial mediating effect on the relationship between self-efficacy and depression. Total variance explained was 23%.
Conclusion. Depressive symptoms are still a problem that need to be addressed among kidney transplantation patients. Patients who have higher self-efficacy and higher self-care behaviour will have lower depressive symptoms. Our results support that self-efficacy is the significant predictor of depressive symptoms.
Relevance to clinical practice. Self-efficacy is a powerful and modifiable determinant of depressive symptoms. We should design interventions that focus not only on the skill aspects of self-care behaviour but also on those that have a strong connection with self-efficacy. We could incorporate the self-efficacy-enhanced strategies as proposed by social cognitive theory into the kidney transplantation care programme.