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Minerva Psichiatrica 2011 December;52(4):219-25

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Systematic reviews to support evidence-based psychiatry: what about depression?

Prisco V.

Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze e Comportamento, Napoli, Italia


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Aim. The aim of the study was to assess whether systematic reviews, the gold standard for scientific research, can offer valuable support to evidence based psychiatry.
Methods. Two database services were used (Ovid, PubMed) to identify SRs related to depression, and he found 1099 systematic reviews, but only 424, published by 140 journals were included in the study. Each review was analyzed to evaluate the conclusions reached by each study. The studies were examined and subdivided into three different groups: 1) reviews reaching certain conclusions; 2) reviews reaching uncertain conclusions; 3) reviews reaching no conclusions. Then a further distinction was made within reviews reaching certain conclusions, stating which were the results that indicate a certain prevalence of the tested treatment against comparison (“Yes”); with “No”. Then, cases in which the comparison is better than the experimental treatment were indicated, and finally the cases in which the two treatments had the same effects were indicated as “neutral”.
Results. Within the category “Reviews reaching certain conclusions”, drug therapy for depression was always more effective than the controls, even more than electroconvulsive therapy or psychotherapy.
Conclusion. This result underlines the importance of drug therapy in depression.

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