Depression in primary caregivers of patients listed for liver or kidney transplantation.
BACKGROUND: No studies have examined depression in primary caregivers of adult patients listed for liver or kidney transplantation. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of depression among primary caregivers of patients listed for liver or kidney transplantation and to compare these 2 groups. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was conducted. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and a demographic questionnaire were sent out and returned by mail. RESULTS: Of 72 eligible primary caregivers, 42 (58%) participated; the participation rate was similar for caregivers of kidney and liver failure patients (21/32 [66%)] vs 21/40 [53%], P = .3). Mean caregiver age was 54.7 +/- 13.6 years. Twenty-three caregivers (54.8%) were spouses, 15 (35.7%) were first-degree relatives, and 26 (62%) were women. Median depression scale score was 5.5 (0-36). Three (7%), 2 (5%), and 3 (7%) participants reported mild, moderate, and severe depression, respectively. Median Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score was higher among caregivers of liver versus kidney patients, but the difference was not statistically significant (9 vs 4, P = .2). Depression scale scores did not correlate with age, sex, time listed, or nature or length of relationship with the patient. The prevalence of depression in primary caregivers was 19%; of these caregivers, one third may have had severe depression. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of moderate to severe depression in primary caregivers of liver and kidney transplant candidates is significant. The impact of depression on caregivers as well as patients, both before and after transplantation, deserves study. Screening for depression in caregivers could lead to clinical interventions that benefit caregivers and indirectly improve patient outcomes.
Bolkhir, A; Loiselle, MM; Evon, DM; Hayashi, PH
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