Randomized clinical trials underestimate the efficacy of antidepressants in less severe depression

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 04/18/2012

The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Scale provides unreliable primary data. Low effect sizes can be expected because of the scale’s low precision and low sensitivity to change, particularly in mild and moderate depression. The conclusion of the meta–analysis by Fournier et al. is therefore unfounded. The clinical value of antidepressants cannot be evaluated from unreliable data. It is urgent that better measurement techniques for depression severity are developed.

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