Brief Mindfulness Intervention vs. Health Enhancement Program for Patients Undergoing Dialysis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Marouane Nassim*, Haley Park, Elena Dikaios, Angela Potes, Sasha Elbaz, Clare Mc Veigh, Mark Lipman, Marta Novak, Emilie Trinh, Ahsan Alam, Rita S. Suri, Zoe Thomas, Susana Torres-Platas, Akshya Vasudev, Neeti Sasi, Maryse Gautier, Istvan Mucsi, Helen Noble, Soham Rej

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Background: Between 20–50% of patients undergoing maintenance dialysis for end-stage kidney disease experience symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, associated with increased mortality, greater health care utilization, and decreased quality of life. It is unknown whether mindfulness-based interventions can improve depression and anxiety symptoms in patients receiving this treatment. Methods: We conducted an 8-week multicenter randomized controlled trial comparing a brief mindfulness intervention (BMI) vs. an active control (Health Enhancement Program [HEP]) in 55 patients receiving dialysis with symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. The primary outcome was change in Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) depression scores, with a primary analysis in participants with baseline PHQ-9 ≥ 10, and a secondary analysis including all participants. The secondary outcome was change in Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) anxiety scores with corresponding primary and secondary analyses. Results: Both BMI and HEP reduced depressive symptoms, with no difference between trial arms (PHQ-9 change = −7.0 vs. −6.1, p = 0.62). BMI was more effective than HEP in reducing anxiety (GAD-7 change = −8.7 vs. −1.4, p = 0.01). Secondary analyses revealed no differences between arms. Conclusions: For patients undergoing dialysis, both BMI and HEP may be helpful interventions for depression symptoms, and BMI may be superior to HEP for anxiety symptoms. Mindfulness-based and other psychosocial interventions may be further evaluated in those undergoing dialysis as treatment options for symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere659
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Early online date01 Jun 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 01 Jun 2021


  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • dialysis


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