Examining internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for patients with chronic kidney disease on haemodialysis: A feasibility open trial

Ramony Chan*, Blake F. Dear, Nick Titov, Josephine Chow, Michael Suranyi

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Treating depression among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is imperative because of its high prevalence and health-related costs. However, many patients with CKD experience significant barriers to effective face-to-face psychological treatments. Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT) may help overcome the treatment barriers. The aim of the present study was to explore the acceptability and preliminary efficacy of iCBT for depression and anxiety among patients with CKD on haemodialysis. 

    Methods: A single-group open trial design involving 22 patients on dialysis and an established iCBT treatment for anxiety and depression was employed. The primary outcomes were symptoms of depression, anxiety and general psychological distress. The secondary and tertiary outcomes were disability, quality of life, kidney disease-related loss and kidney disease burden. A generalised estimation equation modelling technique was employed. 

    Results: Clinically significant improvements (avg. % of improvement) were observed in the primary outcomes of depression (34%), anxiety (31%) and general distress (26%), which were maintained or further improved to 3-month follow-up. Improvements were also observed for quality of life (12%) and kidney disease-related loss (30%). However, no improvements in disability and kidney disease burden were found. High levels of acceptability were reported and relatively little clinician time (99.45 min; SD = 14.61) was needed to provide the treatment. 

    Conclusion: The present results provide encouraging support for the potential of iCBT as an innovative way of increasing access to effective psychological treatment for CKD patients. These results provide much needed support for further research in this area. Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613000103763.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-84
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


    • Kidney disease related loss
    • Renal dialysis
    • Kidney failure
    • Chronic
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Psychological adaptation
    • Mental health
    • Clinical trial
    • Internet based intervention
    • Cognitive behaviour therapy


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