Lee, W., Pulbrook, M., Sheehan, C., Kochovska, S., Chang, S., Hosie, A., Lobb, E., Parker, D., Draper, B., Agar, M. R., & Currow, D. (2020). Clinically significant depressive symptoms are prevalent in people with extremely short prognoses - A systematic review. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Early View Online First.
Context: Currently, systematic evidence of prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms in people with extremely short prognoses is not available to inform its global burden, assessment, and management.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms in people with advanced life-limiting illnesses and extremely short prognoses (range of days to weeks).
Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis (random effects model) were performed (PROSPERO: CRD42019125119). MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and CareSearch were searched for studies (1994-2019). Data were screened for prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms (assessed using validated depression-specific screening tools or diagnostic criteria) of adults with advanced life-limiting illnesses and extremely short prognoses (defined by survival or functional status).
Quality assessment was performed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Systematic Reviews Checklist for Prevalence Studies for individual studies, and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) across studies.
Results: Thirteen studies were included. The overall pooled prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms in adults with extremely short prognoses (n = 10 studies; extremely short prognoses: N = 905) using depression-specific screening tools was 50% (95%CI: 29%-70%; I2 = 97.6%). Prevalence of major and minor depression were 10% (95%CI: 4%-16%) and 5% (95%CI: 2%-8%), respectively. Major limitations included high heterogeneity, selection bias and small sample sizes in individual studies.
Conclusions: Clinically significant depressive symptoms were prevalent in people with advanced life-limiting illnesses and extremely short prognoses. Clinicians need to be proactive in the recognition and assessment of these symptoms to allow for timely intervention.
palliative care, prognoses, depression, prevalence, systematic review, meta-analysis