Prevalence of depression in Uganda: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Kaggwa, M.M., Najjuka, S.M., Bongomin, F., Mamun, M.A. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2022. Prevalence of depression in Uganda: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE, 17 (10): e0276552. ISSN 1932-6203

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Background: Depression is one of the most studied mental health disorders, with varying prevalence rates reported across study populations in Uganda. A systematic review and meta-analysis was carried out to determine the pooled prevalence of depression and the prevalence of depression across different study populations in the country.

Methods: Papers for the review were retrieved from PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO, African Journal OnLine, and Google Scholar databases. All included papers were observational studies regarding depression prevalence in Uganda, published before September 2021. The Joanna Briggs Institute Checklist for Prevalence Studies was used to evaluate the risk of bias and quality of the included papers, and depression pooled prevalence was determined using a random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: A total of 127 studies comprising 123,859 individuals were identified. Most studies were conducted among individuals living with HIV (n = 43; 33.9%), and the most frequently used instrument for assessing depression was the Depression sub-section of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (n = 34). The pooled prevalence of depression was 30.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 26.7–34.1, I2 = 99.80, p<0.001). The prevalence of depression was higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than during the pre-pandemic period (48.1% vs. 29.3%, p = 0.021). Refugees had the highest prevalence of depression (67.6%; eight studies), followed by war victims (36.0%; 12 studies), individuals living with HIV (28.2%; 43 studies), postpartum or pregnant mothers (26.9%; seven studies), university students (26.9%; four studies), children and adolescents (23.6%; 10 studies), and caregivers of patients (18.5%; six studies).

Limitation: Significantly high levels of heterogeneity among the studies included.

Conclusion: Almost one in three individuals in Uganda has depression, with the refugee population being disproportionately affected. Targeted models for depression screening and management across various populations across the country are recommended.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: PLOS ONE
Creators: Kaggwa, M.M., Najjuka, S.M., Bongomin, F., Mamun, M.A. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Date: 20 October 2022
Volume: 17
Number: 10
ISSN: 1932-6203
Rights: © 2022 Kaggwa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 24 Oct 2022 09:28
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 09:28

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