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      Prevalence of depression during the COVID-19 outbreak: A meta-analysis of community-based studies


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          COVID-19 pandemic, declared on March 11, 2020, constitute an extraordinary health, social and economic global challenge. The impact on people's mental health is expected to be high. This paper sought to systematically review community-based studies on depression conducted during the COVID-19 and estimate the pooled prevalence of depression.


          We searched for cross-sectional, community-based studies listed on PubMed or Web of Science from January 1, 2020 to May 8, 2020 that reported prevalence of depression. A random effect model was used to estimate the pooled proportion of depression.


          A total of 12 studies were included in the meta-analysis, with prevalence rates of depression ranging from 7.45% to 48.30%. The pooled prevalence of depression was 25% (95% CI: 18% − 33%), with significant heterogeneity between studies ( I 2  = 99.60%, p < .001).


          Compared with a global estimated prevalence of depression of 3.44% in 2017, our pooled prevalence of 25% appears to be 7 times higher, thus suggesting an important impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on people's mental health. Addressing mental health during and after this global health crisis should be placed into the international and national public health agenda to improve citizens’ wellbeing.

          Translated abstract


          La pandemia de COVID-19, declarada el 11 de marzo de 2020, representa un reto global extraordinario a nivel sanitario, social y económico. Se espera un impacto alto en la salud mental de las personas. Este artículo tiene como objetivo realizar una revisión sistemática de estudios transversales basados en muestras comunitarias que proporcionaban la prevalencia de depresión durante la crisis del COVID-19.


          Se realizó una búsqueda de estudios comunitarios publicados en Pubmed y Web of Science desde el 1 de enero del 2020 al 8 de mayo del 2020 y que informaron prevalencia de depresión. Se usó un modelo de efectos aleatorios para estimar la proporción agrupada de depresión.


          Un total de 12 estudios fueron incluidos en el meta-análisis, con prevalencias de depresión que oscilaban entre 7,45% y 48,30%. La prevalencia agrupada de depresión fue de 25% (95% CI: 18%-33%), con heterogeneidad significativa entre estudios ( I 2  = 99,60%, p < 0,001).


          En comparación con una estimación global de depresión en 2017 del 3,44%, nuestra prevalencia agrupada del 25% es 7 veces mayor, sugiriendo un impacto importante del brote de COVID-19 en la salud mental de las personas. El abordaje de la salud mental durante y después de esta crisis global sanitaria debe ser parte de las agendas de salud pública nacionales e internacionales para mejorar el bienestar de los ciudadanos.

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          Most cited references45

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          Measuring inconsistency in meta-analyses.

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            The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence

            Summary The December, 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak has seen many countries ask people who have potentially come into contact with the infection to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility. Decisions on how to apply quarantine should be based on the best available evidence. We did a Review of the psychological impact of quarantine using three electronic databases. Of 3166 papers found, 24 are included in this Review. Most reviewed studies reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. Stressors included longer quarantine duration, infection fears, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma. Some researchers have suggested long-lasting effects. In situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, officials should quarantine individuals for no longer than required, provide clear rationale for quarantine and information about protocols, and ensure sufficient supplies are provided. Appeals to altruism by reminding the public about the benefits of quarantine to wider society can be favourable.
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              Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test


                Author and article information

                Int J Clin Health Psychol
                Int J Clin Health Psychol
                International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology : IJCHP
                Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. on behalf of Asociación Española de Psicología Conductual.
                31 August 2020
                31 August 2020
                [a ]Psychiatry Service, Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Spain
                [b ]Research, Innovation and Teaching Unit, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
                [c ]Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM). Ministry of Science and Innovation, Madrid, Spain
                [d ]Department of Microbiology, Pediatry, Radiology and Public Health, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain
                [e ]Department of Psychology and Sociology, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain
                [f ]Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. beatriz.olaya@ 123456pssjd.org
                © 2020 Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. on behalf of Asociación Española de Psicología Conductual.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.


                depression,covid-19,prevalence,community-based studies,meta-analysis,depresión,prevalencia,estudios comunitarios,meta-análisis.


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