Adherence to Lifestyle Interventions for Treatment of Adults with Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 16;18(24):13268. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182413268.


The aim of this systematic review was to determine the adherence to lifestyle interventions for adults with depression and to estimate the dropout rates in trials examining the impact of these interventions. A bibliographic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, the Cochrane library, and several sources of grey literature. We included randomised controlled trials examining the impact of multiple lifestyle interventions on depressive symptomatology in adults when compared to control or other active treatments. Two reviewers independently screened citations, extracted the relevant data, and assessed the risk of bias using Cochrane tools. A random effects meta-analysis of proportions was used to summarise the proportion of participants who completed the intervention and to determine the proportion of dropouts at post-treatment assessment. Multiple subgroup analyses were also carried out. We identified six trials. The meta-analysis of proportions showed that 53% (95%CI 49% to 58%) of the participants assigned to the intervention group fully adhered to the intervention program. The weighted mean proportion of completed intervention sessions was 66%. The pooled trial dropout rate was 22% (95%CI 20% to 24%). Around half of adults with depression adhere to lifestyle interventions. Future research is needed to develop interventions to support adherence to lifestyle interventions in depressive patients.

Keywords: depression; interventions; lifestyle; meta-analysis; review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Depression* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Life Style*