Mental Health News – A study published in PLOS Medicine reveals the disparity in treatment of major depressive disorder across the world. Its researchers look to further investigation to better understand the gap in depression treatment.
Confirming previous psychiatric studies, new research sheds new light on the low treatment rates of major depressive disorder across the world.
A group of researchers from different universities collectively surveyed 149 studies about depression treatment across 84 countries in the years 2000–2021. To combine and compare the studies, they used a statistical method called Bayesian meta-regression analysis.
The findings are published in PLOS Medicine.
The study shows how depression treatment remains at an all-time low in countries across the globe. It further highlights the disparities in the treatment of major depressive disorder between countries with different resource levels.
According to the results, people with major depressive disorder use 33% of mental health services in high-income countries. In low and lower-middle-income countries, the rate of mental health services go down to as low as 8%. When it comes to minimal depression treatment, the rates are 23% in high-income countries and 3% in low and lower-middle-income countries.
The researchers, however, have noted that there is a lack of high-quality data on depression treatment coverage for low and lower-middle-income countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
One of the lead authors, Alize J. Ferrari added, “This highlights the need to reconsider the availability of appropriate care and facilitators of treatment as we respond to the large burden imposed by this disorder.”
The researchers are enthusiastic that studies like these can help governments and policymakers make informed decisions about depression treatment worldwide. They look to further research to address the treatment gap and accuracy of treatment rates, as well as improve treatment access associated with major depressive disorder.
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Moitra, M., Santomauro, D., Collins, P. Y., Vos, T., Whiteford, H., Saxena, S., & Ferrari, A. J. (2022). The global gap in treatment coverage for major depressive disorder in 84 countries from 2000-2019: A systematic review and Bayesian meta-regression analysis. PLoS medicine, 19(2), e1003901. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003901