Skip to main content

Psychiatric disorders in children with chronic renal failure


Psychiatric assessment was done according to the DSM-IV TR criteria in 19 children with predialysis chronic renal failure (CRF) and 19 children with end-stage renal disease on regular hemodialysis. The prevalence rate of psychiatric disorders in all the studied patients was 52.6%. Adjustment disorders were the most common disorders (18.4%), followed by depression (10.3%) and neurocognitive disorders (7.7%). Anxiety and elimination disorders were reported in 5.1 and 2.6%, respectively. The disorders were more prevalent (P=0.05) in dialysis (68.4%) than in predialysis patients (36.8%). The presence of psychiatric disorders was not significantly correlated with sex, severity of anemia, duration of CRF or the efficiency or the duration of hemodialysis. In conclusion, psychiatric disorders were prevalent in our patients, especially in those on hemodialysis. Both adjustments with depression and depressive disorders were the most common psychiatric disorders. This array of disorders was more likely explained by the difficulties encountered in living with CRF rather than by demographic or physical factors.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Phipps A, Turkington D (2001) Psychiatry in the renal unit. Advances in psychiatric treatment 7:426–432

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Gledhill J, Rangel L, Garralda E (2000) Surviving chronic physical illness: psychosocial outcome in adult life. Arch Dis Child 83:104–110

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    McConaughy SH, Achenbach TM (1994) Manual for the semi-structured clinical interview for children and adolescents. Burlington VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry P:30–62

  4. 4.

    Fukuniski L, Kudo H (1995) Psychiatric problems of pediatric end-stage renal failure. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 17:32–36

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    House A (1989) Psychiatric referrals from a renal unit: a study of clinical practice in a British hospital. Psychosom Res 33:363–372

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Fukuniski L, Honda M, Kamiyama Y, Ito H (1993) Influence of mothers on school adjustment of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis children. Perit Dial Int 13:232–235

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Fadrowski J, Cole SR, Hwang W, Fiorenza J, Weiss RA, Gerson A, Furth SL (2006) Changes in physical and psychosocial functioning among adolescents with chronic kidney disease. Pediatr Nephrol 21:394–399

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th edn, text revision) (DSM-TV-TR). Washington, DC:APA

  9. 9.

    Achenbach TM, MC Conaughy SH, Howell CT (1982) Child adolescent behavioral and emotional problems, implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity. Psychol Bull 101:13–232

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Eiser C (1990) Psychological effects of chronic disease. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 31:85–98

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Wass VJ, Barratt TM, Howarth RV, Marshall WA, Chantler C, Ogg CS, Camerson JS, Biollod RA, Moorhead JF (1977) Home dialysis in children. Lancet 1:242–246

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Garralda ME, Jameson RA, Reynolds JM, Postlethwaite RJ (1988) Psychiatric adjustment in children with chronic renal failure. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 29:79–90

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Perrin EC, Gerrity PS (1981) There is a demon in your belly: Children’s understanding of illness. Pediatrics 67:841–849

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Perrin EC, Gerrity PS (1984). Development of children with a chronic illness. Pediatr Clin North Am 31:19–31

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Pless IB (1984) Clinical assessment: Physical and psyhological functioning. Pediatr Clin North Am 31:33–45

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Teschan PE (1981) Measurements of neurobehavioral responses to renal failure, dialysis, and transplantation. In: Levy NB (ed) Psychonephrology. Plenum Press, New York, p 13

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Pivac N, Muck-Seler D, Barisic I, Jakovljevic M, Puretic Z (2001) Platelet serotonin concentration in dialysis patients with somatic symptoms of depression. Life Sci 13:68:2423–2433

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Graham P (1991) Child Psychiatry: A developmental approach (2nd edn). Oxford University Press, New York, pp 263–272

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Plumb MM, Holland J (1981) Comparative studies of psychological function in patients with advanced cancer. II-Interview errated current and past psychological symptoms. Psychosom Med 43:243–254

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Holland J (1973) Psychological aspects of cancer. In: Holland J, Frie E (eds) Cancer medicine. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, pp 991–1021

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Osberg JW, Meares GJ, McKee DC, Burnett GB (1982) Intellectual functioning in renal failure and chronic dialysis. J Chronic Dis 35:445–454

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Schowalter JE (1977) Psychological reactions to physical illness and hospitalization in adolescence. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 16:500–516

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Rustomjee S, Smith G (1996) Consultation-liaison psychiatry to renal medicine: work with an inpatient unit. Aus N Z J Psychiatry 30:229–237

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Craven J, Rodin G, Johnson L, Kennedy SH (1987) The diagnosis of major depression in renal dialysis patients. Psychosom Med 49:482–492

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Sensky T (1993) Psychosomatic aspects of end-stage renal failure. Psychother Psychosom 59:56–68

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Cramond WA, Knight PR, Lawrence JR (1967) The psychiatric contribution to a renal unit undertaking chronic haemodialysis and renal homotransplantation. Br J Psychiatry 113:1201–1212

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Kovacs M, Finkelstein R, Feinberg TL, Crouse-Novak M, Paulauskas S, Pollock M (1985) Initial psychologic responses of parents to the diagnosis of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in their children. Diabetes Care 8:568–575

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Ortega DM, Levy MM (2002 Facing the challenge of a changing system: training child welfare workers in a privatized environment. J Health Soc Policy 15:177–187

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Breslau N (1985) Psychiatric disorder in children with physical disabilities. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry 24:87–94

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ashraf Bakr.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bakr, A., Amr, M., Sarhan, A. et al. Psychiatric disorders in children with chronic renal failure. Pediatr Nephrol 22, 128–131 (2007).

Download citation


  • Chronic renal failure
  • Children
  • Psychiatric disorders