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Major Depressive Disorder Prevalent Among Nursing Home Residents

December 18, 2020

Almost one in five nursing home residents without dementia has major depressive disorder, suggests a study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry. In North America, the rate appears even higher.  

“Major depressive disorder is highly prevalent among nursing homes residents without dementia,” researchers wrote. “Efforts towards prevention, early recognition, and management of major depressive disorder in this population are warranted.” 

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to gauge the prevalence of major depressive disorder, as well as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia spectrum disorder, among nursing home residents without dementia. 

Among 13,394 nursing home residents across 32 observational studies, 2110 people had major depressive disorder, researchers reported. The pooled prevalence rate was 18.9%. 

North American nursing home residents had the highest rates of major depressive disorder, sensitivity analysis showed. The pooled prevalence rate in that population was 25.4%. 

Citing a paucity of data, researchers were not able to determine the prevalence of either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia spectrum disorder in the nursing home population.

Jolynn Tumolo 


Fornaro M, Solmi M, Stubbs B, et al. Prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia among nursing home residents without dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry. 2020;216(1):6-15. doi:10.1192/bjp.2019.5

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