- Young people with life-limiting conditions such as thalassemias, chronic kidney disease, or neurological conditions have high prevalences of anxiety and depression, especially as they get older.
- Meta-analysis finds 6-fold anxiety prevalence and higher depression prevalence in this population compared with unaffected counterparts.
Why this matters
- Editorial: the study confirms what most practitioners know, and these findings underscore the need for commitment and funding by specialty centers for assessing and supporting these patients.
- 19 of 37 included studies reported anxiety prevalence, 36 reported depression prevalence.
- Mean participant age: 15.4 (6-25) years.
- Anxiety prevalence: 19.1% (95% CI, 14.1%-24.6%).
- Range among studies: 3.6% (95% CI, 0.4%-12.5%) to 58.3% (95% CI, 36.6%-77.9%).
- Highest prevalences with thalassemias, cystic fibrosis.
- Higher values with diagnostic interviews vs self or parent report.
- Depression prevalence: 14.3% (95% CI, 10.5%-18.6%).
- Range among studies: 0.0% (95% CI, 0.0%-0.7%) to 50.0% (95% CI, 34.9%-65.1%).
- Higher values among those with HIV, increasing age.
- Heterogeneity among studies was high.
- Bias risk, moderate-low.
- Meta-analysis, systematic review of 37 studies with 6042 participants (range, 20-2032).
- Funding: Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People; University of York.
- Many studies were small.
- Reporting of demographic data was poor.