Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients are at high risk for depression and anxiety. However, the estimated prevalence of these disorders varies substantially between studies. This systematic review aimed to establish pooled prevalence levels of depression and anxiety among adult SLE patients.
We systematically reviewed databases including PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane database library from their inception to August 2016. Studies presenting data on depression and/or anxiety in adult SLE patients and having a sample size of at least 60 patients were included. A random-effect meta-analysis was conducted on all eligible data.
A total of 59 identified studies matched the inclusion criteria, reporting on a total of 10828 adult SLE patients. Thirty five and thirteen methods of defining depression and anxiety were reported, respectively. Meta-analyses revealed that the prevalence of major depression and anxiety were 24% (95% CI, 16%-31%, I 2 = 95.2%) and 37% (95% CI, 12%–63%, I 2 = 98.3%) according to clinical interviews. Prevalence estimates of depression were 30% (95% CI, 22%–38%, I 2 = 91.6%) for the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale with thresholds of 8 and 39% (95% CI, 29%–49%, I 2 = 88.2%) for the 21-Item Beck Depression Inventory with thresholds of 14, respectively. The main influence on depression prevalence was the publication years of the studies. In addition, the corresponding pooled prevalence was 40% (95% CI, 30%–49%, I 2 = 93.0%) for anxiety according to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale with a cutoff of 8 or more.
The prevalence of depression and anxiety was high in adult SLE patients. It indicated that rheumatologists should screen for depression and anxiety in their patients, and referred them to mental health providers in order to identify effective strategies for preventing and treating depression and anxiety among adult SLE patients.
Current Meta-analysis PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD 42016044125. Registered 4 August 2016.