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Re: Antidepressants Hardly Help ( Time Magazine) chumbawumba

Posted by Larry Hoover on May 11, 2009, at 23:01:02

In reply to Re: Antidepressants Hardly Help ( Time Magazine), posted by chumbawumba on May 11, 2009, at 22:13:18

It was not good science. That was the thrust of each of my arguments. I concluded the paper was shaped to a pre-existing viewpoint, rather than reaching conclusions derivative of the underlying science. Thus, I concluded that the article was political, as it was unscientific, in my considered opinion.

I've read many papers authored by Kirsch, and they all have a similar slant when discussing antidepressants.

His books deal with hypnosis and suggestibility. If only he would stick to what he knows best, rather than writing deceptively suggestive material to advance false premises.

I've read many of the original Phase III research studies (the raw data, hundreds of pages, not the published blurb) done by Glaxo for Paxil, and others for Effexor, and Prozac. A lot of that work was simply poorly done, conducted over 20 years ago, in the infancy of antidepressant clinical trials. To force the inclusion of poorly conducted studies in this meta-analysis confounds improper methodology with poor drug efficacy. Yet he forces inclusion of that data. Nonetheless, Kirsch himself found a highly significant benefit of antidepressants over placebo (p < .001), and his initial difference scores well exceeded the threshold for clinical significance of 0.50 (Table 2), but he spent many paragraphs finding a way to dismiss those findings by applying statistical methods that are simply inappropriate, and quoting statistics in the paper that are not found in his tables. His own methodology was fatally flawed, and even a simple viewing of his own charts falsifies the statistics he derived.

Honestly, had his science been sound, I've have supported his conclusions. I am pro-science, but I will independently form conclusions of just what that is. I am not pro-med, either. If the evidence is pro-med, then that is what I will report.





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