Isn’t the efficacy of antidepressants clinically relevant? A critical comment on the results of the metaanalysis by Kirsch et al. 2008



The metaanalysis of Kirsch (PLoS Med 5:e45, 2008) has (unfortunately!) attracted too much attention in the specialized press and especially in the lay press. Therefore, intensive critical commenting is necessary to not further alarm experts and health authorities as well as patients and family members. The specified commenting on these metaanalyses shall be prefaced with a short and critical commentary regarding the general significance of metaanalyses. The results of metaanalyses should not too naively be interpreted as the ‘truth’ as regards to the evidence based psychopharmacotherapy, but should be qualified in their significance due to principal methodological reasons Maier (Nervenarzt 78:1028–1036, 2007; Möller (Nervenarzt 78:1014–1027, 2007). Especially from these derived effect sizes should be interpreted carefully.


antidepressants effectiveness meta-analyses 

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chairman of the Department of PsychiatryLudwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany

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