American Journal of Kidney Diseases

Effect of Daily Hemodialysis on Depressive Symptoms and Postdialysis Recovery Time: Interim Report From the FREEDOM (Following Rehabilitation, Economics and Everyday-Dialysis Outcome Measurements) Study

Published:August 05, 2010DOI:


      Clinical depression and postdialysis fatigue are important concerns for patients with kidney failure and can have a negative impact on quality of life and survival.

      Study Design

      The FREEDOM (Following Rehabilitation, Economics and Everyday-Dialysis Outcome Measurements) Study is an ongoing prospective cohort study investigating the clinical and economic benefits of daily (6 times per week) hemodialysis (HD). In this interim report, as part of an a priori planned analysis, we examine the long-term impact of daily HD on depressive symptoms, measured using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) survey, and postdialysis recovery time, measured using a previously validated questionnaire.

      Setting & Participants

      Adult patients initiating daily HD with a planned 12-month follow-up.

      Outcomes & Measurements

      The BDI survey and postdialysis recovery time question were administered at baseline, and changes were assessed at months 4 and 12.


      239 participants were enrolled (intention-to-treat cohort) and 128 completed the study (per-protocol cohort). Mean age was 52 years, 64% were men, 55% had an arteriovenous fistula, and 90% transitioned from in-center HD therapy. In the per-protocol cohort, there was a significant decrease in mean BDI score over 12 months (11.2 [95% CI, 9.6-12.9] vs 7.8 [95% CI, 6.5-9.1]; P < 0.001). For robustness, the intention-to-treat analysis was performed, yielding similar results. The percentage of patients with depressive symptoms (BDI score >10) significantly decreased during 12 months (41% vs 27%; P = 0.03). Similarly, in the per-protocol cohort, there was a significant decrease in postdialysis recovery time over 12 months (476 [95% CI, 359-594] vs 63 minutes [95% CI, 32-95]; P < 0.001). The intention-to-treat analysis yielded similar results. The percentage of patients experiencing prolonged postdialysis recovery time (≥60 minutes) also significantly decreased (81% vs 35%; P = 0.001).


      Observational study with lack of control arm.


      Daily HD is associated with long-term improvement in depressive symptoms and postdialysis recovery time.

      Index Words

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