Randomised controlled trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in treating depression in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tatiana Usala, Antonio Clavenna, Alessandro Zuddas, Maurizio Bonati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To evaluate the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in children and adolescents with depressive disorder, the main electronic databases and the reference lists of retrieved articles and reviews were searched up to January 2007. Randomized controlled studies (RCT) were assessed for methodological quality, taking into consideration the specific diagnostic and severity evaluation tools used, and a meta-analysis on the efficacy of SSRIs compared placebo was undertaken. In all, 13 studies were included, covering a total of 2530 children and adolescents. Eleven studies met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The pooled odds ratio was 1.57 (95% C.I. 1.29-1.91). Only fluoxetine appeared to offer a moderately significant benefit profile (OR = 2.39). All studies differed in diagnostic tools and primary efficacy measures. SSRI treatment, especially with fluoxetine, may be effective on child and adolescent depression. Nevertheless, additional RCTs with sound methodological designs, validated diagnostic instruments, large sample sizes, and consistent outcomes are necessary to determine the role of SSRIs, alone or in combination with psychological interventions in the treatment of depression in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-73
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Children and adolescent
  • Depressive disorder
  • Meta-analysis
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology(all)

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