Depression, Quantified Medication Adherence, and Quality of Life in Renal Transplant Candidates and Recipients

William N Robiner, Megan L. Petrik, Nancy Flaherty, Thyra A Fossum, Rebecca L. Freese, Thomas E Nevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Like patients with many chronic illnesses, ESRD patients experience psychological challenges with greater incidence of depression and reduced quality of life (QoL). A series of 139 transplant candidates’ depression and QoL, and a subset of 82 candidates’ medication adherence were monitored, revealing heterogenous patterns of depression and adherence and reduced QoL. Twenty-eight patients who received kidney transplants were re-evaluated 6 months post-transplant revealing mixed patterns. Mean depression and quantitated adherence decreased and QoL increased. Some patients improved whereas others declined in depression and adherence. Pre-transplant depression was negatively correlated with post-transplant adherence but positively correlated with post-transplant depression. Nevertheless, the ability to predict individuals’ post-transplant adherence and depression, principal objectives of pre-transplant psychological evaluations, is limited. Consequently, it is important to provide periodic screening of ESRD patients for depression and adherence pre- and post-transplant as they reflect changing states, rather than static traits, with variable patterns across patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Program Project DK 13083-36 Id1 and by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the NIH Award Number UL1-TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Adherence
  • Depression
  • ESRD
  • Medication
  • Transplantation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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