Screening of Depressive Symptoms in a Russian General Population Sample: A Web-based Cross-sectional Study

Andrey Alexandrovich Kibitov1, *, Alexander Sergeevich Rakitko1, 2, Evgeniy Dmitirevich Kasyanov1, Grigoriy Viktorovich Rukavishnikov1, Kira Alexandrovna Kozlova3, Valeriy Vladimirovich Ilinsky1, 2, Nikolay Grigor’evich Neznanov1, 4, Galina Elevna Mazo1, Alexander Olegovich Kibitov1, 5
1 V.M. Bekhterev National Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, Bekhtereva str., 3, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
2 Genotek Ltd., Nastavnicheskiy Lane, 17-1, Moscow, Russia
3 Lomonosov Moscow State University, GSP-1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, Russia
4 First Pavlov State Medical University of St. Petersburg, L'va Tolstogo str. 6-8. Saint Petersburg, Russia
5 Serbsky National Medical Research Center on Psychiatry and Addictions, Kropotkinsky lane, 23, Moscow, 119034, Russia

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© 2021 Andrey Alexandrovic et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the V.M. Bekhterev National Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, Bekhtereva str., 3, Saint-Petersburg, Russia Bekhtereva str., 3, Saint-Petersburg, Russia; E-mail:


Background and Objective:

Web-based screening of depressive symptoms in general non-clinical population can provide better insights into actual prevalence of depressive symptoms and associated risk factors. To study the current prevalence of depressive symptoms in Russian non-clinical population we conducted screening using an online survey based on Depression subscale of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D).


The online survey covered 2610 Russian-speaking respondents and included HADS-D, questions about sex, age and presence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) diagnoses or symptoms in respondents.


The proportion of respondents with depressive symptoms, estimated by online HADS-D, was 14.4% (11.5% - at subclinical level, 2.9% - at clinical level). The overall HADS-D score was higher in women (p=0.003), in young individuals under 30 y.o vs. participants over 42 y.o. (p=0.004) and in individuals with self-reported CVD symptoms (p=0.00002). Linear regression analysis showed that self-reported CVD symptoms increase HADS-D score (p<0.001), but male sex (p=0.002) and older age (p<0.001) decrease it. Logistic regression showed that CVD symptoms increase the risk of depressive symptoms by HADS-D (p=0.033, OR=1.29), but older age (p=0.015, OR=0.87) and male sex (as a trend, p=0.052, OR=0.80) decrease this risk.


Online survey based on HADS-D showed new patterns of depressive symptoms prevalence in Russian non-clinical population. Depressive symptoms prevalence did not differ between men and women and was higher among young people. The reported association between depressive symptoms and CVD was confirmed.

Keywords: Mental health, Depression, Screening, Survey, Internet, Population health.