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80% of depression burden is among people living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)

Contributed by: Emerald project

The WHO has published new estimates on depression that show how the number of people living with depression increased by more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Depression is commonly comorbid with chronic physical illnesses and associated with a range of adverse clinical outcomes.For every dollar spent on improving treatment for depression and anxiety, the return on the investment could be fourfold or higher in terms of increased productivity and health.
80% of depression burden is among people living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)
More than 80% of this disease‘s burden is among people living in low- and middle-income countries. However, a study lead by EMERALD‘s coordinator Professor Graham Thornicroft from the Centre for Global Mental Health of Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, found that only 1 out of every 3 people with depression in low-/lower-/middle-income countries (LAMIC) recognized a need for treatment.

All around the world, people with mental illness have limited access to treatment, and in many countries, not even 10% of them receive any effective treatment. In many LMICs, there are insufficient resources to offer adequate care. Only a minority of the subjects with depression received minimally adequate treatment: 1 in 5 people in high-income and 1 in 27 in low-/lower-middle-income countries.

Professor Graham Thornicroft believes that “efforts to decrease the treatment gap for people with depression need to address both scaling up the supply of services and supporting people with depression and their family members to recognise that they have a treatable condition and demand good quality care”.

In addition, depression is commonly comorbid with physical illnesses and is associated with a range of adverse clinical outcomes. As part of the EMERALD project’s research activities, Fentie Ambaw and colleagues from the Department of Psychiatry, Addis Ababa University, College of Health Sciences, School of Medicine recently completed a cross-sectional survey among 657 people newly diagnosed with tuberculosis . The prevalence of probable depression was 54.0%. The frequency of depressive symptoms would suggest that the occurrence of the symptoms in people with TB is in the usual manifestation of the disorder.

Depression is increasing

The number of people living with depression increased by more than 18% between 2005 and 2015, according to a new WHO report released on the occasion of World Health Day, this year dedicated to depression. Globally, the total number of people with depression was estimated to exceed 300 million in 2015. Depression is also the largest cause of disability worldwide.

One of the members of the EMERALD research consortium, Dr. D. Chisholm of the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Geneva, Switzerland, carried out a return-on-investment analysis that showed that for every dollar spent on improving treatment for depression and anxiety, the return on the investment could be fourfold or higher in terms of increased productivity and health. This analysis showed for the first time, a global investment case for a scaled-up response to the massive public health and economic burden of depression and anxiety disorders.

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    Emerald project
    United Kingdom
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  • Germany, Spain, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Netherlands, Nepal, Uganda, United Kingdom, South Africa

Keywords

Mental Health, depression, Emerald
Record Number: 140176 / Last updated on: 2017-04-05
Category: Policy making and guidelines
Provider: WIRE
Revision: 0
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