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Research Article

Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration

  • Irving Kirsch mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: i.kirsch@hull.ac.uk

    Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom

    X
  • Brett J Deacon,

    Affiliation: University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States of America

    X
  • Tania B Huedo-Medina,

    Affiliation: Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States of America

    X
  • Alan Scoboria,

    Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    X
  • Thomas J Moore,

    Affiliation: Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    X
  • Blair T Johnson

    Affiliation: Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States of America

    X
  • Published: February 26, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045

Reader Comments (48)

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Questions still remain

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:25 GMT

Author: PJ Leonard
E-mail: coroebus@yahoo.com
Submitted Date: April 17, 2008
Published Date: April 18, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I think Kirsch et al should provide a further reply to the reservations about their statistical methods raised by myself, Robert Waldmann, and Jim Young among others.

In particular, they need to justify their unorthodox decision to analyse the placebo and drug arms of trials separately (and other methodological choices that bias the estimated effect size downwards) and clarify their position on the claim that placebo response decreases with increasing baseline severity, since this appears to be an artefact.

No competing interests declared.