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Letter to the Editor

Accurate Meta-Analytical Assessment of “True Antidepressant Effects” Needed

Frederic M. Quitkin, MD; Patrick J. McGrath, MD; Jonathan W. Stewart, MD; Donald F. Klein, MD; and Donald C. Ross, PhD

Published: September 15, 2005

Article Abstract

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Sir: In their recent article, Posternak and Zimmerman1 questionwhether there is a several-week delay in “true antidepressanteffect.” They propose to address this issue by ameta-analysis to determine (1) “whether significant drugplaceboseparation occurs during the first 2 weeks of treatment”and (2) “whether the timing of response to antidepressant medicationand placebo is distinct.”1(p148)Since the issue centers on “true antidepressant effects,” measuresand analyses must address this salient point.

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