Anxiety and depression are known causes of morbidity among patients with chronic illnesses. There is controversy whether hemodialysis or renal transplanted subjects have less severe anxiety or depression symptoms. We designed this study to evaluate these symptoms in the two groups of subjects.
In a case-control study performed in 2006, we randomly selected 32 transplant recipients and 39 hemodialysis patients. The two groups were matched for gender, age, marital status, educational background, and somatic comorbidities. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were compared between the groups using the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale.
Anxiety score was significantly lower among transplant recipients compared with hemodialysis patients (8.61 +/- 3.09 vs 10.41 +/- 2.77; P=.01). There was no significant difference between the two groups in the score for depression (P>.05). In transplant recipients, the severity of anxiety was higher among those with a history of graft rejection and those <35 years at the time of transplantation (P<.05). The severity of depressive symptoms was higher among subjects with lower educational status (P<.05).
Depressive symptoms did not seem to improve after renal transplantation, which highlights the need for screening and appropriate treatment of depression. Transplant recipients with a history of rejection or a young age at the time of transplantation should receive more attention for psychiatric problems.