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Review: antidepressants and psychotherapy may be equally effective for promoting remission in major depressive disorder

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QUESTION: How do anti-depressants and psychotherapy compare in generating full remission in major depressive disorder?


Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources

Studies were identified using Medline and PsychInfo (to November 2000).

Study selection

Eligible studies were randomised controlled trials with blinded participants and assessors that (1) directly compared medications, psychotherapy and controls for well defined major depressive disorder; (2) included remission data. 6 studies were included with 883 outpatients with mild to moderate non-psychotic major depressive disorder. Mean age ranged from 32–40 years; 77% women (range 68–85%). Median treatment duration was 16 weeks (range 10–34).

Data extraction

Data were extracted on baseline measurements, sample size, …

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