Prevalence of depression in patients with advanced cancer

This is a systematic review from 2002. [1] Aim was to o identify all literature regarding depression in patients with advanced cancer and among mixed hospice populations, and to summarise the prevalence of depression according to different definitions.

46 eligible studies giving information on the prevalence of depression, and a further four which gave information on case finding were identified. The most widely used assessment of depression was the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), which gave a median prevalence of ‘definite depression’ (i.e., a score on the depression subscale of 10 of 29%, (interquartile range, IQR, 19.50 34.25%). Studies that used psychiatric interviews indicated a prevalence of major depressive disorder ranging from 5% to 26%, with a median of 15%. Studies were generally small (median sample size 88.5, IQR 50 108), had high numbers of nonresponders, and rarely gave confidence intervals for estimates of prevalence.

1          Hotopf M, Chidgey J, Addington-Hall J, et al. Depression in advanced disease: A systematic review part 1. Prevalence and case finding. Palliat Med 2002;16:81–97. doi:10.1191/02169216302pm507oa