Treatment Rate for Major Depressive Disorder in China: a Meta-Analysis of Epidemiological Studies

Han Qi, Qian Qian Zong, Grace K.I. Lok, Wen Wang Rao, Feng Rong An, Gabor S. Ungvari, Lloyd Balbuena, Qing E. Zhang, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common psychiatric disorder in China, but its reported treatment rate varies largely across different studies. The objective of this meta-analysis was to determine the pooled treatment rate for people with MDD in China and its associated factors. Both English (PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, Web of Science) and Chinese (Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, WanFang and SinoMed) databases were searched from their commencement date to November 13, 2018. Epidemiological studies that reported the treatment rate of MDD were included and synthesized using a random effects model. Fifteen studies covering 609,054 participants were included. The pooled treatment rate for MDD in China was 19.5% (95% CI: 10.7%–28.4%). Among the 15 studies, 9 reported the number of patients who received treatments in psychiatric hospitals with a pooled treatment rate of 5.2% (95% CI: 2.8%–7.5%). Meta-regression found that study quality (β = 0.131, P = 0.028) and male gender (β = 0.006, P = 0.039) were significantly associated with a higher treatment rate for MDD. In China, the treatment rate for MDD, particularly in psychiatric hospitals, was low. Effective public education and increasing access to mental health services will probably increase the number of people seeking and receiving treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-895
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Meta-analysis
  • Treatment rate


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