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Letters to the Editor
December 15, 2008

Misleading Report on the Prevention of Major Depression Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

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Copyright 2008 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2008

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(12):1345. doi:10.1001/archotol.134.12.1345-a

The abortive clinical trial by Lydiatt et al1 evaluating the use of antidepressants for the prevention of major depression among patients with head and neck cancer is misleading and a travesty in terms of the presentation and interpretation of its results. The upbeat conclusion provided in the abstract has been widely disseminated in the media but should be disqualified because the study was stopped prematurely, intent-to-treat analyses were not conducted, and nonsignificant findings were obtained for the primary outcome.

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