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Comment & Response
December 16, 2019

Anxiety and Depression Prevalence in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults With Life-Limiting Conditions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Gachon University College of Medicine, Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Republic of Korea
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(2):207-208. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4800

To the Editor I read the meta-analysis article by Barker et al1 on anxiety and depression among children, adolescents, and young adults with life-limiting conditions (LLCs). Two critical issues affecting the considerably high prevalence of depression in the HIV subgroup were observed.

First, duplicated literatures2,3 were found, with identical study periods, place, demographic characteristics, depression scale (Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale), and total participants (n = 1782 and n = 179,3 respectively).4 Although some participants (60 of 1782 and 166 of 1793) were part of estimating depression in each study, at least 78.3% (47 of 60) are duplicated ones.2 Because higher prevalence of depression (43.3% [n = 26 of 60]2 and 31.3% [n = 52 of 166])3 was observed in these studies than in the others, the duplication probably increased the depression prevalence in the HIV subgroup. On the other hand, the 2 studies used different thresholds of Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale (162 and 21,3 respectively), resulting in a different prevalence between them.