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Undertreatment of people with major depressive disorder in 21 countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Graham Thornicroft, Somnath Chatterji, Sara Evans-Lacko, Michael Gruber, Nancy Sampson, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Ali Al-Hamzawi, Jordi Alonso, Laura Andrade, Guilherme Borges, Ronny Bruffaerts, Brendan Bunting, Jose Miguel Caldas De Almeida, Silvia Florescu, Giovanni De Girolamo, Oye Gureje, Josep Maria Haro, Yanling He, Hristo Hinkov, Elie Karam & 7 more Norito Kawakami, Sing Lee, Fernando Navarro-Mateu, Marina Piazza, Jose Posada-Villa, Yolanda Torres De Galvis, Ronald C. Kessler

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume210
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

King's Authors

Abstract

Background

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide.

Aims

To examine the: (a) 12-month prevalence of DSM-IV MDD; (b) proportion aware that they have a problem needing treatment and who want care; (c) proportion of the latter receiving treatment; and (d) proportion of such treatment meeting minimal standards.

Method

Representative community household surveys from 21 countries as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys.

Results

Of 51 547 respondents, 4.6% met 12-month criteria for DSM-IV MDD and of these 56.7% reported needing treatment. Among those who recognised their need for treatment, most (71.1%) made at least one visit to a service provider. Among those who received treatment, only 41.0% received treatment that met minimal standards. This resulted in only 16.5% of all individuals with 12-month MDD receiving minimally adequate treatment.

Conclusions

Only a minority of participants with MDD received minimally adequate treatment: 1 in 5 people in high-income and 1 in 27 in low-/lower-middle-income countries. Scaling up care for MDD requires fundamental transformations in community education and outreach, supply of treatment and quality of services.

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