The present study presents investigations regarding relationships among aerobic capacity, anxiety, depression, physical symptoms report, and stress appraisal in maintenance hemodialysis patients. We also examined whether participation in an exercise training program led to improvements in these variables. Seventy patients, recruited from outpatient dialysis clinics, served as subjects. Analyses revealed that self-report measures of stress appraisal correlated highly with one another as well as with measures of depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms report. In addition, measures of depression and anxiety related to measures of physical symptoms report. A group of hemodialysis patients participating in a 10-week treatment study evidenced significant differences in aerobic capacity compared to an attention wait-list control group. There were no significant changes between groups on measures of depression, anxiety, stress appraisal, and physical symptoms report, and there were no significant differences on any of the outcome variables at 1-month follow-up. We discuss some of the reasons for lack of change among psychological indices following treatment, as well as problems with exercise as a form of rehabilitation for this population.
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