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Table 1 Characteristics of the included randomized controlled trials

From: Twelve Chinese herbal preparations for the treatment of depression or depressive symptoms in cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Author, year Sample size R/A* Age (years) Women (%) Diagnostic criteria Cancer Intervention T/C* Anticancer therapies Practice mode Outcomes
Chen et al. [26] 120/120 T: 64.1 ± 6.3 C: 60.0 ± 9.1 70.0 Depression: CCMD-3 Lung and breast cancers; any stage T: Xuefuzhuyu decoction,1 dose/d; C: no treatment Y IT* 1, 2
Liu et al. [42] 38/38 T: 58.9 ± 4.8 C: 59.6 ± 4.5 55.3 Depression: CCMD-3, SDS > 50, HAMD-24 > 7 Lung cancer; stage IIIB to IV T: Yangfeixiaojijieyu decoction, 1 dose/d; C: no treatment Y NIT* 1, 2, 4
Ma et al. [43] 81/81 T: 53.9 ± 10.7 C: 56.0 ± 11.9 60.5 Depression: CCMD-2R, HAMD-17 > 18 Gastric, lung, esophageal, breast, liver and other cancers; any stage T: Danzhixiaoyao decoction,1 dose/d, 8 weeks; C: no treatment Y IT 1, 2
Meng et al. [44] 78/78 median T: 61.2 C: 62.2 41.0 Depressive symptoms: SDS > 53 Esophageal cancer; any stage T: Chaihushugan decoction alternatively combined with Tongyou decoction; C: no treatment Y NIT 1
Meng et al. [45] 100/100 T: 68.7 ± 1.4 C: 69.7 ± 1.7 31.0 Depression: CCMD-3, SDS > 50, HAMD-24 > 20 Breast, gastric, colorectal and lung cancers; any stage T: Ganmaidazao decoction, 15 d; C: no treatment Y IT 1, 3
Sun et al. [46] 64/64 T: 46.0 ± 11.7 C: 46.3 ± 12.3 100.0 Depression: ICD-10, DSM, CCMD-3 Breast cancer; any stage T: Xiaoyao decoction, 1 dose/d, 6 weeks; C: no treatment Y IT 1, 4, 5
Wu et al. [47] 82/77 T: 53.4 ± 16.8 C: 52.6 ± 15.7 41.5 Depressive symptoms: HAMD Gastric cancer; Stage III to IV T: Shuganjieyu capsule, 0.72 g, bid, 6 weeks; C: no treatment Y NIT 1, 2, 5
Fang et al. [48] 90/90 T: 42.3 ± 18.1 C: 47.6 ± 16.9 54.4 Depressive symptoms: SDS > 50, HAMD-17 > 14 Lung, breast, colorectal, liver and other cancers; any stage T: Chaihushugan decoction, 1 dose/d, 6 weeks; C: fluoxetine, 20 mg qd for 2 weeks, then 20–40 mg qd for 4 weeks Y NIT 1, 2, 5
Fu et al. [49] 26/26 T: 41–65 C: 39–68 42.3 Depression: CCMD-3, 14 ≤ HAMD-17 ≤ 24 Breast, esophageal, rectal, nasopharynx, gastric and lung cancers; any stage T: Suanzaorenjialongmu decoction, 1 dose/d, 6 weeks; C: fluoxetine, 20 mg qd for 2 weeks, then 20–40 mg qd for 4 weeks NR NIT 1, 2, 5
Jin et al. [50] 82/82 T: 23.8 ± 7.7 C: 22.9 ± 6.9 NR Depression: CCMD-3 Breast cancer; stage I to III T: Xiaoyao decoction, 1 dose/d, 10 weeks; C: alprazolam,0.4 mg bid, 10 weeks NR NIT 1, 5
Liu et al. [27] 60/60 T: 51.4 ± 8.7 C: 51.3 ± 6.6 100.0 Depression: CCMD-3, SDS > 50 Breast cancer; stage I to IIIC T: Xiaoyao decoction, 1 dose/d, 6 weeks; C: flupenthixol and melitracen, 1 tablet bid, 6 week NR IT 1, 2, 5
Ma et al. [51] 60/60 18–80 46.7 Depression: DSM-IV Breast, esophageal, colorectal, gastric, lung, ovarian, prostatic and liver cancers; stage II to IV T: Shuganjieyuhuaji decoction, 1 dose/d, 6 weeks; C: fluoxetine 20 mg qd, 6 weeks NR NIT 1, 2, 3
Tian et al. [52] 120/120 30–70 NR Depression: CCMD-3, HAMD≥16 Breast, pancreatic, esophageal, lung and gastric cancers; any stage T: Chaihujialonggumuli decoction,1 dose/d + PT, 6 weeks; C: fluoxetine 20 mg qd + PT, 6 weeks NR NIT 1, 2
Zhang et al. [53] 98/98 T: 58.0 ± 8.5 C: 57.0 ± 9.4 54.1 Depression: CCMD-3, HAMD> 20 Breast, colorectal, esophageal, lung and gastric cancers; any stage T: Ganmaidazao decoction, 1 dose/d, 8 weeks; C: flupenthixol and melitracen 10.5 mg bid, 8 weeks Y NIT 1, 2, 5
Zheng et al. [54] 126/126 T: 48 ± 16 C: 49 ± 15 43.7 Depression: “diagnosed by psychiatrist” NR; any stage T: Chaihushugan decoction, 1 dose/d, 30 days; C: PT NR NIT 2
Jia et al. [55] 78/78 T: 53.0 ± 3.6 C:53.0 ± 4.2 78.2 Depression: CCMD-2R Lymphoma, osteosarcoma, breast, liver, endometrial, gastrointestinal, ovarian and renal cancers; any stage T: oral Chinese herbal medicine decoction, 1 dose/d, 4 weeks; C: fluoxetine 20 mg qd 4 weeks NR IT 2
Dai et al. [28] 80/80 T: 64.6 ± 10.8 C: 59.7 ± 9.8 45.0 Depression: CCMD, HAMD> 18 Gastric cancer; any stage T: Banxiahoupo decoction+liujunzi decoction, 1 dose/d; C: PT NR NIT 2
Xu et al. [56] 58/58 T: 63.9 ± 10.8 C: 58.9 ± 9.6 69.0 Depression: CCMD, HAMD-17 > 17 Gastric cancer; any stage T: Banxiahoupo decoction+liujunzi decoction, 1 dose/d; C: PT NR NIT 1, 2
  1. CHM Chinese herbal medicine, PT psychological treatments, NR not reported, IT individualized treatments, NIT non-individualized treatments, HAMD Hamilton Depression Scale, SDS Self-Rating Depression Scale, EORTC QLQ C-30 European Organization for Research on Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-30, CCMD Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders, DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ICD International Classification of Diseases
  2. *R/A: randomized number/analyzed number
  3. *T/C: interventions other than the anticancer treatment of the treatment group and the control group, respectively
  4. Outcomes: 1) group mean scores on rating scales for depression; 2) response rate for depression; 3) group mean scores on rating scales for quality of life; 4) response rate for quality of life; 5) the incidence of adverse events