Influence of Emotional Factors on the Report of Somatic Symptoms in Patients on Haemodialysis
1University for Health Sciences Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria
2University of Jaén, Spain
Background: The study aimed to compare somatic symptoms between patients undergoing hemodialysis and a healthy control group and to investigate the relationship of psychological variables (i.e. anxiety, depression, social support, self-efficacy, coping strategies) with the severity of these complaints. Method: Forty-six patients and 30 matched healthy controls participated. Data analysis was based on multiple regression models. Findings: Patients reported markedly elevated somatic symptoms, especially immunological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and allergic complaints. Anxiety turned out to be the main predictor of most symptom categories, explaining up to 24.9% of variance in symptom severity. Depression, worry and passive coping strategies (helplessness, fatalisms) were furthermore associated with higher symptom levels. Active coping strategies, self-efficacy and social support were associated with lower symptom severity. Discussion: The results suggest that emotional factors explain some of the symptoms without clear etiology in the renal patient and may help developing psychological interventions aiming to reduce somatic symptoms in patients undergoing chronic dialysis.