To assess whether depression symptoms, poor sleep and dry skin bother explain association between pruritus and the burden of kidney disease in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients.
Cross-sectional study of 980 patients from a prospective study in dialysis units of Salvador, Brazil (PROHEMO). The Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form was used to determine scores of kidney disease burden (KDB) and sleep with higher scores indicating lower perceived burden and better sleep quality, respectively. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale was used for depression symptoms.
Prevalence of severe pruritus (very much or extreme) was 19.4%. Significantly (P < 0.001) lower mean KDB score by 11.44 points was observed for patients with severe pruritus (34.18 ± 27.51) than for those with no pruritus (45.62 ± 30.73). Severe pruritus was associated with poorer sleep quality, higher odds of dry skin bother and higher depression symptoms score. Association of pruritus with KDB score was virtually eliminated after adjustment for sleep, dry skin bother and depression symptoms.
This study shows strong associations of severe pruritus with higher depression symptoms, poorer sleep and dry skin bother among MHD patients. The results support special attention to MHD patients with pruritus who often face high psychological burden.