Zhao Chen, Rong Luo, Yun Yang, Zhou Xiang

December 2021, Volume 30, Issue 12, pp 3417 - 3427 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06977-z

First Online: 02 September 2021


To estimate the prevalence of depression in degenerative spine disease (DSD) patients.


The PubMed, EMBASE, and PsycINFO were systematically searched, the relevant studies that reported the depression prevalence of in DSD patients were identified. Data were extracted independently by 2 reviewers. Subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis were also performed.


24 articles met the inclusion criteria and were selected for the current study. The pooled prevalence estimate of depression in DSD patients before operative treatment was 30.8% [95% CI 24.0–38.5%]. Nine articles reported the prevalence rate in DSD patients after operative treatment, and the pooled prevalence estimate was 27.0% [95% CI 19.9–35.4%]. There were significant differences for prevalence estimates before operative treatment in types of disorders (Q = 4.56, P = 0.10), spine surgery history (Q = 5.55, P = 0.02), representativeness of sample (Q = 11.00, P = 0.00), and validity of assessment method (Q = 3.32, P = 0.07). The prevalence estimates in patients with lumbar spine stenosis, lumbar disc herniation and cervical spondylotic myelopathy were 24.0%, 40.9% and 37.3%, respectively. Studies that included patients with a history of spine surgery yielded a more extreme prevalence estimate than studies excluding those (36.9% vs 24.3%). For results of patients after operative treatment, significant differences for prevalence estimates were showed in different degrees of pain (Q = 4.72, P = 0.03), screening instruments (Q = 4.83, P = 0.09), and representativeness of sample (Q = 15.70, P = 0.00).


The systematic review indicated increased prevalence of depression in DSD patients. In consideration of the relationship between depression and poor surgical outcome, we should pay more attention to identifying strategies for preventing and treating depression in DSD patients.

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