In a small clinical study published a few weeks ago, researchers didn’t find much difference between the three treatment groups of depressed subjects they studied — a group that received antidepressant medications, a group that received a specific type of not-commonly-practiced psychodynamic psychotherapy, and a group that received a sugar pill.
But there were some serious issues with this study from the onset, issues that call into question not only the generalizability of the results, but also their validity. It’s a shame that Reuters, who picked up on the study just yesterday, glossed over the methodology problems of the study, and instead just repeated the results as a shiny new established fact.
And easily lost in the discussion is the best result of them all — 16 weeks was all that was needed for most people in the study (who completed it) to find improvement in the symptoms of their depression, no matter what the treatment.
Let’s see what went wrong, and what the study actually tells us…