Daniel Cukor, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center) and his research team tested their strategy in 59 patients undergoing treatment at dialysis centers in New York.
In 33 patients, cognitive behavioral therapy was administered chair-side during dialysis treatments for three months. Another 26 patients did not receive behavioral therapy during dialysis. Patients were assessed three and six months later.
The findings of the study revealed significantly larger reductions in depression scores compared with the control group.
Among participants with depression diagnosed at the start of the study, 89 percent in the treatment group were not depressed at the end of treatment, compared with 38 percent in the control group.
Patients in the treatment group experienced greater improvements in quality of life and were better able to control fluid intake between dialysis sessions (which makes the next dialysis session more efficient).
The study has been published in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).