Medical literature may have overstated benefits of treatments for depression

The New York Times (10/1, A23, Carey, Subscription Publication) reports, “Medical literature has overstated the benefits of talk therapy for depression, in part because studies with poor results have rarely made it into journals,” according to a review published Sept. 30 in PLOS One. For the study, researchers “tracked down all the grants funded by the National Institutes of Health to test talk therapy for depression from 1972 to 2008.”

On its “All Things Considered” program and in its “Shots” blog, NPR (10/1, Hamilton) reports that “results from nearly a quarter of” 55 “trials were never published.” When the review’s authors included those results, they “found that the apparent effectiveness was inflated by publication bias.” That bias “may have led psychiatrists and psychologists to be too optimistic about both talk therapy and drug treatment…says” one of the study’s authors.

Related Links:

— “Effectiveness of Talk Therapy Is Overstated, a Study Says,” Benedict Carey, New York Times, September 30, 2015.

Posted in In The News.