Depression and suicide risk in hemodialysis patients with chronic renal failure

Chih Ken Chen, Yi Chieh Tsai, Heng Jung Hsu, I. Wen Wu, Chiao Yin Sun, Chia Chi Chou, Chin Chan Lee, Chi Ren Tsai, Mai Szu Wu, Liang Jen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Depression and suicide are well established as prevalent mental health problems for patients on hemodialysis. Objective: The authors examined the demographic and psychological factors associated with depression among hemodialysis patients and elucidated the relationships between depression, anxiety, fatigue, poor health-related quality of life, and increased suicide risk. Method: This cross-sectional study enrolled 200 end-stage renal disease patients age ≥18 years on hemodialysis. Psychological characteristics were assessed with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the short-form Health-Related Quality of Life Scale, and Chalder Fatigue Scale, and structural equation modeling was used to analyze the models and the strength of relationships between variables and suicidal ideation. Results: Of the 200 patients, 70 (35.0%) had depression symptoms, and 43 (21.5%) had had suicidal ideation in the previous month. Depression was significantly correlated with a low body mass index (BMI) and the number of comorbid physical illnesses. Depressed patients had greater levels of fatigue and anxiety, more common suicidal ideation, and poorer quality of life than nondepressed patients. Results revealed a significant direct effect for depression and anxiety on suicidal ideation. Conclusion: Among hemodialysis patients, depression was associated with a low BMI and an increased number of comorbid physical illnesses. Depression and anxiety were robust indicators of suicidal ideation. A prospective study would prove helpful in determining whether early detection and early intervention of comorbid depression and anxiety among hemodialysis patients would reduce suicide risk.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


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