Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 46, Issue 10, pp 943–952 | Cite as

Depression and economic hardship across Greece in 2008 and 2009: two cross-sectional surveys nationwide

  • Michael MadianosEmail author
  • Marina Economou
  • Tatiana Alexiou
  • Costas Stefanis
Original Paper



In many western countries during the recent years, people have witnessed the deterioration of their economies and the emergence of related phenomena such as loss of property, unemployment and social disruption. These phenomena have also been associated with increasing levels of demoralization and the developing of major depressive episodes (MDE). Greece in the years 2008 and mainly in 2009 started facing a sharp economic decline. The purpose of this study was to explore the consequences of this condition and the ways are reflected in the prevalence of MDE during these two critical years.


Two nationwide cross-sectional telephone surveys were carried out in 2008 and 2009 with representative samples of 2,197 and 2,192 respondents, respectively. The interview comprised the SCID I module of MDE and an Index of Personal Economic Distress (IPED).


The 1-month prevalence of MDE in 2009 was found to be 6.8%, compared to corresponding rates of 3.3% in 2008. Respondents facing serious economic hardship (with higher scores in IPED) were mostly at risk for developing an MDE.


The findings of both studies underline the significance of the risk involved in developing MDE when individuals have been exposed in extreme and stressful economic situations.


Major depressive episodes Poverty Low income General population 



All works for this paper were carried out within University Mental Health Research Institute and the School of Health Sciences Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences of Athens University. The study was supported by a research grant from the University of Athens Research Special Fund.

Conflict of interest statement

M.M. is a professor of psychiatry of Athens University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Madianos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marina Economou
    • 2
  • Tatiana Alexiou
    • 1
  • Costas Stefanis
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Health Sciences, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.University Mental Health Research Institute (UMHRI)AthensGreece

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