Meta-analytic evidence of depression and anxiety in Eastern Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic

Stephen X. Zhang, Saylor O. Miller, Wen Xu, Allen Yin, Bryan Z. Chen, Andrew Delios, Rebecca Kechen Dong, Richard Z. Chen, Roger S. McIntyre, Xue Wan, Senhu Wang, Jiyao Chen

    Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To perform a systematic and meta-analysis on the prevalence rates of mental health symptoms including anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population in Eastern Europe, as well as three select sub-populations: students, general healthcare workers, and frontline healthcare workers. Data sources: Studies in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and medRxiv up to 6 February 2021. Eligibility criteria and data analysis: Prevalence rates of mental health symptoms in the general population and key sub-populations during the COVID-19 pandemic in Eastern Europe. Data were pooled using a random-effects meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence rates of anxiety and depression. Results: The meta-analysis identifies and includes 21 studies and 26 independent samples in Eastern Europe. Poland (n = 4), Serbia (n = 4), Russia (n = 3), and Croatia (n = 3) had the greatest number of studies. To our knowledge, no studies have been conducted in eleven Eastern European countries including Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The pooled prevalence of anxiety in 18 studies with 22 samples was 30% (95% CI: 24–37%) pooled prevalence of depression in 18 studies with 23 samples was 27% (95% CI: 21–34%). Implications: The cumulative evidence from the meta-analysis reveals high prevalence rates of clinically significant symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in Eastern Europe. The findings suggest evidence of a potential mental health crisis in Eastern Europe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our synthesis also reveals a relative lack of studies in certain Eastern European countries as well as high heterogeneities among the existing studies, calling for more effort to achieve evidence-based mental healthcare in Eastern Europe.

    Translated title of the contributionCOVID-19 疫情期间东欧抑郁和焦虑的元分析证据
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2000132
    JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


    • COVID-19
    • epidemic
    • frontline healthcare workers
    • general population
    • healthcare workers
    • psychiatry


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