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April 7, 2004

Sertraline and Depression in Children

JAMA. 2004;291(13):1561. doi:10.1001/jama.291.13.1561-a

To the Editor: Dr Wagner and colleagues1 reported that sertraline was more effective than placebo for treating children with major depressive disorder and that it had few adverse effects. As one of the study group investigators in this trial, I am concerned about the way the authors pooled the data from 2 trials, a concern that was raised by previous letters critiquing this study.2-4 The pooled data from these 2 trials found a statistically marginal effect of medication that seems unlikely to be clinically meaningful in terms of risk and benefit balance.

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