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American Journal of Kidney Diseases

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Hemodialysis Patients

Published:August 23, 2007DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2007.06.018

      Background

      We aim to assess the prevalence and severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients who receive long-term hemodialysis (HD) and investigate its correlation with depression, anxiety, health-related quality of life, and service utilization.

      Study Design, Setting & Participants

      In a cross-sectional study, we recruited 144 HD patients (age, 63.1 ± 14.2 years; 50.7% men) from 5 dialysis units.

      Factor

      PTSD, defined in accordance with criteria of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised and Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale.

      Outcomes

      Physical health, mental health, depression, anxiety, life satisfaction, service utilization.

      Measurements

      Impact of Event Scale-Revised, Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Short-Form Health Survey.

      Results

      77.8% of HD patients reported at least 1 traumatic event. The lifetime prevalence for PTSD, independent from trauma type, was 17%. PTSD prevalence only with regard to HD as a potential traumatic event was 10.4%. Women reported more helplessness and more intensive experiences of fear or horror than men with respect to the stressor A criterion. Patients with PTSD showed substantial decreases in mental health in comparison to patients without PTSD (P < 0.01). Additionally, greater depression, anxiety, less life satisfaction, and more service utilization were associated with greater posttraumatic symptoms. There was no correlation of physical health with posttraumatic symptoms. In partial correlation analyses adjusting for depression, associations between posttraumatic symptoms, mental health, and anxiety remained robust.

      Limitations

      Generalizability to other settings, absence of control group, study power.

      Conclusions

      PTSD is common in HD patients, but little work has been done to explore the variables associated with PTSD. Data suggest that PTSD is underdiagnosed and undertreated in HD patients. Interventions should target these patients with the goal to improve well-being and quality of life.

      Index Words

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