Quality of life, psychosocial adjustment and depression in dialysis patients and their spouses

Hippokratia 2004, 8(3):124-127

A Biris, I Kyriakopoulou, E Mavropoulou, G. Kyriakopoulos
Dialysis Unit & Division of Pychosocial Support, General Hospital of Larissa, Larissa, Greece


Background: It is known that the quality of life of patients with chronic renal failure changes after the induction in a dialysis programme. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of life in chronic dialysis patients and the relations with their partners.
Patients and Methods: A specialised inventory including questions on family relationships, work, sexual relationships, use of free time, use of psychotropic medication, and various changes in the way of life in general, as well as demographical data has been used. A similar inventory was also completed by spouses. In addition participants and their spouses completed Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI). The sample consisted of 37 patients and 20 spouses, 57 adult individuals in total. In some of the patients and their spouses who have completed at least three years of study in high school, personality tests have been employed using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory -MMPI (n = 28) and at the same time clinical interviews have taken place.
Results: The results indicated high depression rates and positive correlation in BDI scores between subjects and their spouses. An increased amount of free time was observed in the patient being spent doing hobbies, traveling, and with friends. It was further observed that the time spent with family members as well as watching television was significantly decreased. Emphasis was also provided by subjects regarding the quality of medical expertise, and the need for improved human contact. Conclusion: Patients starting chronic hemodialysis program and their partners present depression symptoms in a very high rate. There is a negative coorelation between depression and educational status or their income. They need psychologic support to become productive again.