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Psychiatric disorders and large interdialytic weight gain in patients on chronic haemodialysis


Associate Professor Hulya Taskapan, Inonu University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nephrology, 44069 Malatya, Turkey. Email:


Aims:  Psychiatric disorders have been considered in terms of non-compliant behaviour and low life quality in haemodialysis patients. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential association of psychiatric disorders with compliance of fluid restriction and nutritional status and to measure the effects of psychiatric disorders on the life quality in chronic renal failure patients on haemodialysis.

Methods:  The study was conducted between April 2002 and December 2002 at a University hospital haemodialysis unit. The study population included 40 chronic renal failure patients (15 females/25 males). The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD), The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Short Form Health Survey 36 (SF-36) were used for patient assessment by a trained psychiatrist. The subjects’ medical charts were reviewed by a physician who was unaware of the the results of the psychiatric assesments. Interdialytic weight gain (IDWG %) and nutritional status were used as an index of diet compliance. Nutrition was assessed by using subjective global assessment (SGA), serum albumin, predialysis phosphorus and potassium levels.

Results:  All patients’ MMSE were normal. A diagnosis of a depressive or anxiety or somatoform disorder by the PRIME MD was made in 65% of the patients. Fourteen (35%) of the patients had a depressive disorder, 13 (32.5%) of the patients had a somatoform disorder, and 12 (30%) had an anxiety disorder. We found no relationship between any psychiatric disorder and age, sex, duration of dialysis therapy, education, marital status, employment, socioeconomic status, serum albumin, phosphorus, potassium or SGA (P > 0.05). In patients with depression or a somatoform disorder, the interdialytic weight (%) was significantly higher than those of the patients without these disorders (P < 0.05). All indices of quality of life decreased in patients diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.

Conclusion:  Depressive symptoms are important determinants of patients’ large interdialytic weight gain and psychiatric disorders that effect a patients’ overall quality of life. Evaluation of psychiatric status should be part of the care provided to haemodialysis patients.