BACKGROUND: Comorbid depression is common among patients with diabetes and has severe health consequences, but often remains unrecognized. Several questionnaires are used to screen for depression. A systematic review and meta-analysis regarding the diagnostic accuracy of depression questionnaires in adults with diabetes is unavailable. Our aim was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of depression questionnaires in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
METHODS: PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO were searched from inception to 28 February 2018. Studies were included when the diagnostic accuracy of depression questionnaires was assessed in a diabetes population and the reference standard was a clinical interview. Data extraction was performed by one reviewer and checked by another. Two reviewers independently conducted the quality assessment (QUADAS-2). Diagnostic accuracy was pooled in bivariate random effects models. The main outcome was diagnostic accuracy, expressed as sensitivity and specificity, of depression questionnaires in an adult diabetes population. This study is reported according to PRISMA-DTA and is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018092950).
RESULTS: A total 6,097 peer-reviewed articles were screened. Twenty-one studies (N = 5,703 patients) met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. Twelve different depression questionnaires were identified, of which the CES-D (n = 6 studies) and PHQ-9 (n = 7 studies) were the most frequently evaluated. Risk of bias was unclear for multiple domains in the majority of studies. In the meta-analyses, five (N = 1,228) studies of the CES-D (≥16), five (N = 1,642) of the PHQ-9 (≥10) and four (N = 822) of the algorithm of the PHQ-9 were included in the pooled analysis. The CES-D (≥16) had a pooled sensitivity of 85.0% (95%CI, 71.3-92.8%) and a specificity of 71.6% (95%CI, 62.5-79.2%); the PHQ-9 (≥10) had a sensitivity of 81.5% (95%CI, 57.1-93.5%) and a specificity of 79.7% (95%CI, 62.1-90.4%). The algorithm for the PHQ-9 had a sensitivity of 60.9% (95%CI, 52.3-90.8%) and a specificity of 64.0% (95%CI, 53.0-93.9%).
CONCLUSIONS: This review indicates that the CES-D had the highest sensitivity, whereas the PHQ-9 had the highest specificity, although confidence intervals were wide and overlapping. The algorithm for the PHQ-9 had the lowest sensitivity and specificity. Given the variance in results and suboptimal reporting of studies, further high quality studies are needed to confirm the diagnostic accuracy of these depression questionnaires in patients with diabetes.