Kidney disease is more likely to be fatal in patients who are depressed and have a negative perception of their condition than those with a positive outlook, according to a recent study.
Dr Joseph Chilcot, a PhD student at the Health and Human Sciences Research Institute at the University of Hertfordshire, found that illness perceptions were more strongly related to depression than clinical factors, including the disease’s severity.
“Of further importance was the finding that both depression symptoms and perception of illness predicted patient survival. In other words, patients with a more negative perception had reduced survival,” he said.
The study measured the perceptions of patients with end-stage renal disease just after they started dialysis, six months later and at 12 months.