Treatment Options for Depression in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis (ASCEND)

  • Although depression is very common in dialysis patients, it is often undiagnosed and thus goes untreated.
  • Dialysis patients with depression are more likely to have complications like heart problems, and be hospitalized, and they are more likely to stop dialysis.
  • This trial compared two types of treatment—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or treatment with an anti-depressant—for depression in patients with kidney failure.
  • Patients in the trial must be diagnosed with depression and treating their kidney failure with hemodialysis.

The purpose of the ASCEND study is to compare two types of treatment for depression in participants who have end-stage renal disease and who have been diagnosed with depression.  The two types of treatment involved in the study are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or treatment with an anti-depressant.  The researchers hope to enroll 180 participants who are undergoing hemodialysis in three study locations (Seattle, Washington, Dallas, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico).  A third group of 90 participants from the three study locations have chosen not to receive any treatment for depression will be asked to take part in a phone survey for up to three months.  The entire study will take approximately 2 years to complete.