Global prevalence of unmet need for mental health care among adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:October 24, 2021DOI:


      • Pooled prevalence of unmet need for mental health care among adolescents was 54.0%.
      • Prevalence of unmet need for mental health care among adolescents with any mental disorder was 58.1%.
      • Unmet needs for mental health problems are common among adolescents
      • Unmet needs for mental health problems are major concerns in terms of public health.



      Globally mental disorders affect a large number of adolescents. The unmet need for health care of mental health problems is common among adolescents. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to estimate the global prevalence of unmet needs of mental health care among adolescents.


      PubMed, Web of Sciences and Scopus, were searched by June 2018 using a pre-designed search strategy. The summary measure was the prevalence of unmet need for mental health care. The inverse variance method was used in meta-analysis, and the results were reported using the random-effects model at a 95% confidence interval (CI).


      Out of 30,154 retrieved studies, 15 cross-sectional studies met the eligibility criteria and included in the meta-analysis. The included studies involved 51,309 participants, which 34,476 of them required the mental health care services. The overall pooled prevalence of unmet need for mental health care was 54.0% (95% CI: 41.0, 67.0; I2 = 99.9%). Prevalence among adolescents with any mental disorder, general population of adolescents, and high-risk adolescents were 58.1 (46.8, 69.5), 51.4 (30.2, 72.7), and 31.0 (29.0, 33.0) respectively.


      Based on the results of this systematic review a considerable proportion of adolescents with mental health problems, have not received the required mental health care.


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