The following is a summary of “Pain, Anxiety, and Depression in Patients Undergoing Chronic Hemodialysis Treatment: A Multicentre Cohort Study” published in the October 2022 issue of Pain Management by Masià-Plana et al.

If the pain isn’t addressed, anxiety and despair can develop in hemodialysis patients. The purpose of this study is to investigate how people undergoing chronic hemodialysis feel about their pain and how it relates to their levels of anxiety, depression, and other sociodemographic factors. A quantitative, observational, cross-sectional methodology was used for this study. 

The 138 participants were all hemodialysis patients from different centers. During hemodialysis sessions, patients were given a battery of questions to fill out, including the visual analog scale (VaS) as a pain intensity rating, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and an ad hoc socio-demographic data questionnaire. The results were derived using a linear regression study. On a VaS scale from 0 to 10 (with SD=3.07), the average reported level of pain among all subjects was 3.6. The pain was reported to be less severe by females than by males (P=.015). Clinical anxiety affected 20% of both male and female participants. Clinical depression affected 16% of both sexes.

Both anxiety (4.8 vs. 4.2) and depression (4.8 vs. 4.2) were rated higher among women (6.8 versus 6.5). Patients who displayed clinical anxiety symptoms were younger than those who did not (aged 56.8 versus 66.8 years). At the end of the day, elder patients (average age 68.5) showed more signs of despair. Patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis therapy reported modest levels of pain, especially those who were female. The pain was found to correlate positively with both emotional distress (anxiety and depression) and physical discomfort (physical pain).