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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 835262, 5 pages
Case Report

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment to Improve Adherence to Hemodialysis Fluid Restrictions: A Case Report

1Psychology Department, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, USA
2Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA 92108, USA

Received 9 August 2009; Accepted 5 November 2009

Academic Editor: Linda Gonder-Frederick

Copyright © 2009 Heather M. Anson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This case report describes outpatient psychological treatment targeting adherence to fluid restrictions in a hemodialysis patient. The consequences of nonadherence to fluid restrictions in hemodialysis patients range from minor discomfort to increased hospitalizations and mortality rates. In addition, when patients chronically fail to adhere, they may no longer be candidates for kidney transplant. The interventions focused on polydipsia, characterized by excessive fluid intake. The methods involved 11-sessions of individual psychotherapy incorporating strategies including increasing awareness, decreasing motivation, increasing effort, engaging in competing events, conducting thought stopping, breaking repetitive routines, eliciting social support, and receiving reinforcement. Results demonstrated that the patient successfully restricted his fluid intake at or below recommended levels 83% of days after fading of treatment began. This case report demonstrates the success of cognitive behavioral treatment strategies with a nonpsychiatric hemodialysis patient.