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The media and intellectuals' response to medical publications: the antidepressants' case.

Fountoulakis KN, Hoschl C, Kasper S, Lopez-Ibor J, Möller HJ - Ann Gen Psychiatry (2013)

Bottom Line: The current paper analyzes the articles authored by three representative opinion makers: one academic in medicine, one academic in philosophical studies, and a representative of an activists' group against the use of antidepressants.All three articles share similar gaps in knowledge and understanding of the scientific data and also are driven by an 'existential-like' ideology.It seems that this line of thought represents another aspect of the stigma attached to people suffering from mental illness.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: 3rd Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54636, Thessaloniki, Greece. kfount@med.auth.gr.

ABSTRACT
During the last decade, there was a debate concerning the true efficacy of antidepressants. Several papers were published in scientific journals, but many articles were also published in the lay press and the internet both by medical scientists and academics from other disciplines or representatives of societies or initiatives. The current paper analyzes the articles authored by three representative opinion makers: one academic in medicine, one academic in philosophical studies, and a representative of an activists' group against the use of antidepressants. All three articles share similar gaps in knowledge and understanding of the scientific data and also are driven by an 'existential-like' ideology. In our opinion, these articles have misinterpreted the scientific data, and they as such may misinform or mislead the general public and policy makers, which could have a potential impact upon public health. It seems that this line of thought represents another aspect of the stigma attached to people suffering from mental illness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The depiction of the debate over the efficacy of antidepressants in high-reputation newspapers.
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Figure 1: The depiction of the debate over the efficacy of antidepressants in high-reputation newspapers.

Mentions: Recently, a number of meta-analytic studies disputed the clinical usefulness of antidepressants by reporting that their effect size is small [1-6] and that there is a significant bias in the publication of antidepressant trials [7]. These conclusions attracted much attention both by scientists and by the general public (see list of sites below, Figure 1). At the center of this debate, there was the meta-analysis by Kirsch et al. [4] which suggested that antidepressants fall well below criteria for clinical relevance and that efficacy reaches clinical relevance only in trials involving the most severely depressed patients. Kirsch went further and accused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as having an explicit decision to keep this information from the public and from prescribing physicians [8]. The Kirsch et al. data set [4] has been re-analyzed by two other groups [9,10], which independently reported results different to those reported by Kirsch et al. The interpretations also differed.


The media and intellectuals' response to medical publications: the antidepressants' case.

Fountoulakis KN, Hoschl C, Kasper S, Lopez-Ibor J, Möller HJ - Ann Gen Psychiatry (2013)

The depiction of the debate over the efficacy of antidepressants in high-reputation newspapers.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3643832&req=5

Figure 1: The depiction of the debate over the efficacy of antidepressants in high-reputation newspapers.
Mentions: Recently, a number of meta-analytic studies disputed the clinical usefulness of antidepressants by reporting that their effect size is small [1-6] and that there is a significant bias in the publication of antidepressant trials [7]. These conclusions attracted much attention both by scientists and by the general public (see list of sites below, Figure 1). At the center of this debate, there was the meta-analysis by Kirsch et al. [4] which suggested that antidepressants fall well below criteria for clinical relevance and that efficacy reaches clinical relevance only in trials involving the most severely depressed patients. Kirsch went further and accused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as having an explicit decision to keep this information from the public and from prescribing physicians [8]. The Kirsch et al. data set [4] has been re-analyzed by two other groups [9,10], which independently reported results different to those reported by Kirsch et al. The interpretations also differed.

Bottom Line: The current paper analyzes the articles authored by three representative opinion makers: one academic in medicine, one academic in philosophical studies, and a representative of an activists' group against the use of antidepressants.All three articles share similar gaps in knowledge and understanding of the scientific data and also are driven by an 'existential-like' ideology.It seems that this line of thought represents another aspect of the stigma attached to people suffering from mental illness.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: 3rd Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54636, Thessaloniki, Greece. kfount@med.auth.gr.

ABSTRACT
During the last decade, there was a debate concerning the true efficacy of antidepressants. Several papers were published in scientific journals, but many articles were also published in the lay press and the internet both by medical scientists and academics from other disciplines or representatives of societies or initiatives. The current paper analyzes the articles authored by three representative opinion makers: one academic in medicine, one academic in philosophical studies, and a representative of an activists' group against the use of antidepressants. All three articles share similar gaps in knowledge and understanding of the scientific data and also are driven by an 'existential-like' ideology. In our opinion, these articles have misinterpreted the scientific data, and they as such may misinform or mislead the general public and policy makers, which could have a potential impact upon public health. It seems that this line of thought represents another aspect of the stigma attached to people suffering from mental illness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus