Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Depression in Ethiopia: A Review

T Bitew


Background: Depression is the most common and disabling mental illness in the globe. It accounts for about 6.5% of the burden of diseases in Ethiopia. Regardless of its severity and relapse rate, there are no synthesized evidences about its prevalence and potential risk factors in Ethiopia. The aim of this review was thus to synthesize scientific information about the prevalence and potential risk factors of depression in Ethiopia.
Methods: Out of 37 papers, 31 were collected from PubMed, Medline and Google Scholar electronic databases, and the remaining six from Addis Ababa University, Department of Psychiatry. But, 13 articles were removed after reading the titles; five after reading the abstracts and two after reading the manuscripts and five of them were duplicates. Finally, 12 papers were reviewed and the pooled prevalence was also computed.
Results: The pooled prevalence of depression for the five studies, which had used Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), was 6.8% (95%, CI: 6.4-7.3); but, it increased to 11% (95% CI: 10.4-11.5) when three other studies that had used other screening tools were included. Demographic variables such as sex, age, marital status, violence, migration and substance use were associated with depression, but not with economic factors.
Conclusions: More attention should be given to socio-demographic risk factors and intimate partner violence, since they are potential risk factors of depression. The prevalence of depression in Ethiopia was also found comparable to that of some high-income countries.

Keywords: Depression, risk factors of depression, impact of depression, prevalence, Ethiopia
AJOL African Journals Online