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Int J Psychiatry Med. 1997;27(1):33-45.

Perceived mental health and disablement of primary care and end-stage renal disease patients.

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  • 1Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



To compare perceived current mental health and disablement between primary care and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, and to study social support and stress and severity of illness as possible determinants of mental health and disablement.


Observational cross-sectional analysis of 414 primary care patients in a rural community health center and 125 ESRD patients requiring hemodialysis in two community dialysis units. The Duke Health Profile (DUKE) anxiety-depression scale was used to assess mental health; the DUKE disability scale, to indicate disablement; the Duke Social Support and Stress Scale, to measure support and stress; and the Duke Severity of Illness Scale, to rate severity of illness.


Perceived current mental health in terms of anxiety and depression symptoms was worse for primary care than for ESRD patients, and perceived current disablement was no different for the two groups. Patients' perception of their health status and of stress from family members were more closely associated with their level of anxiety and depression symptoms than were their diagnostic profiles or overall severity of illness. In turn, their level of anxiety and depression symptoms was the principal correlate of their disablement.


The demonstration of strong relationships among anxiety and depression symptoms, disablement, and family stress in these two very different patient populations should stimulate further research and motivate clinicians to evaluate all three parameters as part of routine patient care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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