Current first-line treatments for paediatric depression demonstrate mild-to-moderate effectiveness. This has spurred a growing body of literature on lifestyle recommendations pertaining to nutrition, sleep and exercise for treating paediatric depression.
Paediatric depression clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) were reviewed for quality and to catalogue recommendations on nutrition, sleep and exercise made by higher-quality CPGs.
Searches were conducted in Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Web of Science and CINAHL, and grey literature CPGs databases for relevant CPGs. Eligible CPGs with a minimum or high-quality level, as determined by the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation, Second Edition instrument, were included if they were (a) paediatric; (b) CPGs, practice parameter or consensus or expert committee recommendations; (c) for depression; (d) the latest version and (e) lifestyle recommendations for nutrition, sleep or exercise. Key information extracted included author(s), language, year of publication, country, the institutional body issuing the CPG, target disorder, age group, lifestyle recommendation and the methods used to determine CPG lifestyle recommendations.
Ten paediatric CPGs for depression with a minimum or high-quality level contained recommendations on nutrition, sleep or exercise. Lifestyle recommendations were predominately qualitative, with quantitative details only outlined in two CPGs for exercise. Most recommendations were brief general statements, with 50% lacking supporting evidence from the literature.
Interest in lifestyle interventions for treatment in child and youth depression is growing. However, current CPG lifestyle recommendations for nutrition, sleep or exercise are based on expert opinion rather than clinical trials.