Biological, Psychological, and Social Determinants of Depression: A Review of Recent Literature

Olivia Remes, João Francisco, Peter Templeton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
415 Downloads (Pure)


Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, and, if left unmanaged, it can increase the risk for suicide. The evidence base on the determinants of depression is fragmented, which makes the interpretation of the results across studies difficult. The objective of this study is to conduct a thorough synthesis of the literature assessing the biological, psychological, and social determinants of depression in order to piece together the puzzle of the key factors that are related to this condition. Titles and abstracts published between 2017 and 2020 were identified in PubMed, as well as Medline, Scopus, and PsycInfo. Key words relating to biological, social, and psychological determinants as well as depression were applied to the databases, and the screening and data charting of the documents took place. We included 470 documents in this literature review. The findings showed that there are a plethora of risk and protective factors (relating to biological, psychological, and social determinants) that are related to depression; these determinants are interlinked and influence depression outcomes through a web of causation. In this paper, we describe and present the vast, fragmented, and complex literature related to this topic. This review may be used to guide practice, public health efforts, policy, and research related to mental health and, specifically, depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1633
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological, Psychological, and Social Determinants of Depression: A Review of Recent Literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this