To examine the cross-lagged relationship between depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis.
A longitudinal, observational study was conducted in two public hospitals in Shanghai, China. The sample consisted of 204 patients at baseline (T1). Of these, 144 completed the 12-month follow-up survey (T2), and 135 completed the 24-month follow-up survey (T3). Depressive symptoms were assessed using the depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and HRQoL was assessed using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life 36 short form. Cross-lagged path analysis was used to examine the temporal relationship between depressive symptoms and domains of health-related quality of life.
Lower levels of three out of five domains of HRQoL (physical functioning, burden of kidney disease, and symptoms of kidney disease) at T1 were associated with increases in depressive symptoms at T2. Moreover, higher depressive symptoms at T2 were associated with decreases in four domains of HRQoL (mental functioning, burden of kidney disease, symptoms of kidney disease, and effects of kidney disease) at T3.
Patients who had poor HRQoL were more likely to report more subsequent depressive symptoms, which in turn predict lower HRQoL over time. It indicates a need to break this cycle in patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis.