We read with great enthusiasm the article by Chen et al1 examining the epidemiology of depression in older people in rural China. While we applaud risk factor identification, there are methodological issues we think deserve attention. With one of us having grown up in a rural village of China for 18 years, just 80 miles east of the province of this particular study, we question the role of village leaders’ face-to-face presence in the recruitment and participation of study subjects, which could raise the possibility of subsequent biased reporting from the study subjects.
Dong X, Simon M, Gorbien M, Nguyen H. Epidemiology of Depression in a Chinese Rural Population. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(8):931. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.8.931-a