Epidemiology and costs of depression: A hidden burden

Agnes Rupp, William Narrow, Darrel Regier, Paul Siovatka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper reviews the most recent epidemiological, clinical services and economic literature on depression. The epidemiological section discusses the intriguing question if there has been a change in the frequency of depression during the last decade and concludes that there is not enough empirical evidence to support the presence of an epidemic in depression. The clinical services section addresses the issue of the unmet need for treatment and finds that to date, no criteria have been developed to decide who should be treated if not everybody can be treated due to scarce resources. The economic section describes the various approaches used to estimate the economic burden of depression on society. The paper points out that the discrepancy between diagnostic and treated prevalence implies that many untreated cases are hidden for various reasons and this results in unnecessary, hidden economic loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalDisease Management and Health Outcomes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • General Nursing
  • Health Policy


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