Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 9 Issue 1 (January/February 1999), Pages 1-71

Life events, social support and depression in haemodialysis patients (pages 23-33)


This study examined the effects of life events and social support on depression in 200 dialysis patients. The instruments used included the Beck Depression Inventory, a modified version of Sarason's Life Experiences Survey and a Social Support Inventory (SSI) constructed by the authors. The SSI consisted of five quantitative measures and three measures of perceived social support. These measures were found to be internally consistent and stable over time. Results showed that clinically depressed dialysis patients reported fewer positive life events and appraised life events more negatively than non‐depressed patients. The total number of life events and the number of negative life events were not found to differentiate between depressed and non‐depressed patients. With regard to social support variables, results showed that depressed patients reported less frequent actual contact and telephone contact with others and perceived a smaller amount and less availability of social support and less satisfaction with perceived social support along the functional dimensions of emotional, informational, appraisal and instrumental support and social companionship. The results were found to provide support for a main effect model of social support and not for a buffering model. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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