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October 1987

Talk Therapy vs Drug Therapy for Depression

Author Affiliations

No. 72 205 E 78th St New York, NY 10021-1243

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987;44(10):923. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800220095018

To the Editor.—  When the Archives published "NIMH Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program: Background and Research Plan"1 in March 1985, it occurred to me that—rigorous and sophisticated as much of the methodology clearly was —the entire study was built on a flawed foundation.Recently, the New York Times (May 14, 1986, p 1) reported on the preliminary presentation of the study's results at the 1986 American Psychiatric Association meeting. The coordinator of the study stated this conclusion: "There is no evidence in the study to date that the standard drug treatment for depression was more effective than the two forms of psychotherapy."As a result of a central flaw in the design of the study, the very evidence that is invoked to support this conclusion either proves the very opposite to be true or, at best, demonstrates the study to be insignificant in the extreme.It is clear that

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