Is there a detrimental effect of depression on patients with end-stage kidney disease? Dr Joseph Chilcot researched into the relationship between illness perceptions and depression symptoms in patients with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Following a study of 160 patients in the Renal Unit at the Lister Hospital, Stevenage, Dr Chilcot found that illness perceptions were strongly related to concurrent depression symptoms. More so than clinical factors including disease severity results, which were supported in a cross-sectional study of 215 dialysis patients. The research measured their perceptions of their illness after they started dialysis, six months later and at twelve months.
Most importantly, it was discovered that both depression symptoms and perception of illness predicted patient survival - in other words, patients with a more negative perception had reduced survival.
Dr Chilcot plans to devise a therapeutic intervention geared towards changing people’s beliefs about their illness.