Preventing the onset of major depressive disorder: A meta-analytic review of psychological interventions

K. van Zoonen, C. Buntrock, D.D. Ebert, H.F.E. Smit, C.F. Reynold III, A. Beekman, P. Cuijpers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Depressive disorders are highly prevalent, have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of patients and their relatives and are associated with increased mortality rates, high levels of service use and substantial economic costs. Current treatments are estimated to only reduce about one-third of the disease burden of depressive disorders. Prevention may be an alternative strategy to further reduce the disease burden of depression.Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of preventive interventions in participants with no diagnosed depression at baseline on the incidence of diagnosed depressive disorders at follow-up. We identified 32 studies that met our inclusion criteria.Results: We found that the relative risk of developing a depressive disorder was incidence rate ratio = 0.79 (95% confidence interval: 0.69-0.91), indicating a 21% decrease in incidence in prevention groups in comparison with control groups. Heterogeneity was low (I
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-329
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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