The prevalence of depression among iran‐iraq war veterans, combatants and former prisoners of war: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Amir Mohsen Rahnejat, Mohammadreza Ebrahimi, Alireza Khoshdel, Ahmad Ali Noorbala, Hassan Shahmiri Barzoki, Lababeh Avarzamani, Farhad Avakh, Arsia Taghva
Published Online:
05 Oct 2021
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By exposing individuals to trauma, wars can cause a host of psychiatric disorders. This study aimed to collect and compare the studies conducted to estimate the prevalence of depression among veterans, former prisoners of war (POWs) and military personnel in the Iran–Iraq war (1980–1988). In this systematic review, a search was conducted using relevant keywords in major national and international databases, personal archives and national academic libraries. We screened 135 records using their abstracts and selected a total of 56 studies for full‐text review. Eventually, 19 studies were included in our systematic review and meta‐analysis. The estimated pooled prevalence of depression among Iranian veterans and POWs was 22.4% (95% confidence interval = 15.0–32.0). Although the results indicated disparities in the prevalence of depression among veterans and POWs, the aggregate estimated prevalence was much higher than what has been reported for military personnel. Effective policies and strategies are required for prevention and treatment of depression and related psychiatric complications among veterans and former POWs.

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