[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 27, 2003

Psychopharmacological Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

JAMA. 2003;290(8):1091-1093. doi:10.1001/jama.290.8.1091

The report by Wagner and colleagues1 in this issue of THE JOURNAL, a pooled analysis of 2 multicenter, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trials evaluating the effect of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) sertraline on children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years with major depressive disorder (MDD), constitutes the largest positive psychopharmacological study of MDD in this age group reported to date. The primary outcome was change from baseline in the Children's Depression Rating Scale–Revised (CDRS-R), with a prospectively determined primary efficacy measure of the CDRS-R Best Description of Child total score; secondary efficacy measures included the proportion of CDRS-R responders, defined as patients who had at least a 40% decrease in the adjusted CDRS-R total score. The results indicate a statistically significant improvement for patients receiving active drug vs those receiving placebo.