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The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy on Depression Among Family Caregivers of End Stage Kidney Disease Patients in Nairobi County, Kenya 

Winnie Waiyaki, Ph.D., Daystar University, Nairobi


The incidence of depression is high among family caregivers (FCGs) of End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD). Little has been done to find a model of therapy that will alleviate its symptoms in this population. This study aimed at testing a model of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that would assist FCGs. With a diagnosis of ESKD the lifestyle of the patient’s family is drastically complicated and is surrounded by the demands of dialysis, the FCG undergoes a lot of stressors, referred to as the caregiver burden. According to the Kenya Renal Association, chronic kidney disease, which results in ESKD is on the rise with one million Kenyans already having the disease. This is said to be increasing with ten thousand new cases per year. Among other things, this implies a corresponding increase in caregivers’ burden and specifically depression. Thus, studies have called for effective psychological interventions as available interventions have mainly constituted education on renal disease and very little on psychotherapeutic treatments for the FCGs. This study therefore tested a model of psychotherapy referred to as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) specifically on depression in this population. It used a convenience sample of 96 participants in various private hospitals in Nairobi. The sample was divided into experimental (n=49) and control groups (n=47). A quasi-experiment was done to determine the efficacy of CBT in reducing the symptoms of depression in the participants by applying the treatment to the experimental group. Data was analysed using inferential statistics. The results revealed that FCGs had moderate depression, among other mental disorders. CBT was found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression from moderate to mild and normal. Hence, CBT was recommended as part of the treatment protocols for ESKD.

Keywords: ESKD, depression, efficacy, family caregivers, CBT

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