Placebo Response in Psychotic Depression

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Sir: I read with interest the report by Simpson et al.1 in the May 2005 issue of the Journal. While it is always gratifying to learn of the practical applications of one’s research,2,3 the authors may be overinterpreting the significance of their openlabel observations on the basis of a misconception of the placebo response in psychotic depression. The authors compared their observations with 2 historical studies4,5 that found “a low placebo response rate with psychotic depression.”1(p601)

J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(12):1615-1615