A systematic review of prevalence studies of depression in Parkinson's disease

Mov Disord. 2008 Jan 30;23(2):183-9; quiz 313. doi: 10.1002/mds.21803.


Prevalence rates of depressive disorders in Parkinson's disease (PD) vary widely across studies, ranging from 2.7% to more than 90%. The aim of this systematic review was to calculate average prevalences of depressive disorders taking into account the different settings and different diagnostic approaches of studies. Using Medline on Pubmed, a systematic literature search was carried out for studies of depression in Parkinson's disease. A total of 104 articles were included and assessed for quality; 51 articles fulfilled the quality criteria. Multiple publications from the same database were not included in the meta-analysis. In the remaining 36 articles, the weighted prevalence of major depressive disorder was 17% of PD patients, that of minor depression 22% and dysthymia 13%. Clinically significant depressive symptoms, irrespective of the presence of a DSM defined depressive disorder, were present in 35%. In studies using a (semi) structured interview to establish DSM criteria, the reported prevalence of major depressive disorder was 19%, while in studies using DSM criteria without a structured interview, the reported prevalence of major depressive disorder was 7%. Population studies report lower prevalence rates for both major depressive disorder and the clinically significant depressive symptoms than studies in other settings. This systematic review suggests that the average prevalence of major depressive disorder in PD is substantial, but lower than generally assumed.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology