Objectives: To conduct a systematic review of selected health determinants, including gender, and their impact on hospitalization rates for depression. Depression includes both depressive and bipolar disorders. Selected health determinants were gender, age, sex, family structure, education, and socioeconomic status.
Methods: Systematic search of conventional and fugitive literature sources. All reports of primary data, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis of primary data were included if they focused on hospitalization for depression and reported data by one or more of the selected health determinants. Two researchers independently evaluated each citation for inclusion and extracted data from the included studies.
Results: There is an important underreporting of health determinants data in studies of hospitalization for depression. No studies examined the role of gender. Age and sex were reported in 83 percent and 80 percent of the 110 included studies. Women showed a higher rate of hospitalization for depression than men (p<.05). Age and diagnosis had different effects in men and women. Adult women were significantly more likely than men to report a depressive disorder, whereas men were more likely to report a bipolar disorder (p<.05). Little can be concluded on the other health determinants.
Conclusions: The importance of reporting hospitalization data and conducting hospital utilization analysis by sex and health determinants, including gender, must be emphasized.