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05 October 2019 : Meta-Analysis  

Depressive Symptoms Among Children and Adolescents in China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Jia-Yu Li1ABCDEFG, Jing Li1B, Jing-Hong Liang2C, Sheng Qian1D, Rui-Xia Jia3D, Ying-Quan Wang3E, Yong Xu13AEG*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.916774

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:7459-7470


BACKGROUND: Depressive symptoms are a pervasive mental health problem in Chinese adolescents. The aim of this article was to systematically assess the trend of depressive symptoms in China among adolescents (1988 to 2018).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic and comprehensive literature search was conducted in both English and Chinese databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL, CNKI, and Wan Fang Database, to identify relevant studies published between 1988 and 2018. Batteries of analyses in this meta-analysis were undertaken using Stata version 12.0 statistical software.

RESULTS: Sixty-two related reports involving 232 586 participants finally met our inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results suggest the prevalence of depressive symptoms has generally increased over time. The prevalence estimates before 2000 were 18.4% (95% CI, 14.5–22.3%), and were 26.3% (95% CI, 21.9–30.8%) after 2016. The pooled prevalence of depressive symptoms among children and adolescents was 22.2% (95% CI: 19.9–24.6%, I²=99.6%, p<0.001). More subgroup analyses classified by screening instrument, gender, and region were carried out in this meta-analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Results of our meta-analysis suggest that depressive symptoms have become more prevalent among Chinese adolescents. This trend emphasizes the need for effective prevention strategies and greater availability of screening tools for this vulnerable population.

Keywords: Adolescent Psychology, China, Depression, meta-analysis, Adolescent, Asians, Child, Databases, Factual, Depressive Disorder, Mass Screening, Prevalence


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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416
Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416