Context: Uncertainties exist about prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD).
Objective: To present nationally representative data on prevalence and correlates of MDD by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria, and on study patterns and correlates of treatment and treatment adequacy from the recently completed National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R).
Design: Face-to-face household survey conducted from February 2001 to December 2002.
Setting: The 48 contiguous United States.
Participants: Household residents ages 18 years or older (N = 9090) who responded to the NCS-R survey.
Main outcome measures: Prevalence and correlates of MDD using the World Health Organization's (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), 12-month severity with the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self-Report (QIDS-SR), the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), and the WHO disability assessment scale (WHO-DAS). Clinical reinterviews used the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV.
Results: The prevalence of CIDI MDD for lifetime was 16.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.1-17.3) (32.6-35.1 million US adults) and for 12-month was 6.6% (95% CI, 5.9-7.3) (13.1-14.2 million US adults). Virtually all CIDI 12-month cases were independently classified as clinically significant using the QIDS-SR, with 10.4% mild, 38.6% moderate, 38.0% severe, and 12.9% very severe. Mean episode duration was 16 weeks (95% CI, 15.1-17.3). Role impairment as measured by SDS was substantial as indicated by 59.3% of 12-month cases with severe or very severe role impairment. Most lifetime (72.1%) and 12-month (78.5%) cases had comorbid CIDI/DSM-IV disorders, with MDD only rarely primary. Although 51.6% (95% CI, 46.1-57.2) of 12-month cases received health care treatment for MDD, treatment was adequate in only 41.9% (95% CI, 35.9-47.9) of these cases, resulting in 21.7% (95% CI, 18.1-25.2) of 12-month MDD being adequately treated. Sociodemographic correlates of treatment were far less numerous than those of prevalence.
Conclusions: Major depressive disorder is a common disorder, widely distributed in the population, and usually associated with substantial symptom severity and role impairment. While the recent increase in treatment is encouraging, inadequate treatment is a serious concern. Emphasis on screening and expansion of treatment needs to be accompanied by a parallel emphasis on treatment quality improvement.