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Publication Bias in meta-analyses of the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions for depression

  • Objective: The aim of this study was to assess whether systematic reviews investigating psychotherapeutic interventions for depression are affected by publication bias. Only homogeneous data sets were included, as heterogeneous data sets can distort statistical tests of publication bias. Method: We applied Begg and Mazumdar's adjusted rank correlation test, Egger's regression analysis, and the trim and fill procedure to assess the presence and magnitude of publication bias in all homogeneous data sets of systematic reviews published up to September 2010. Results: Thirty-one data sets reported in 19 meta-analyses fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Significant bias was detected in 5 (16.13%; rank correlation test) and 6 (19.35%; Egger's regression analysis) of these data sets. Applying the trim and fill procedure to amend presumably missing studies rarely changed the assessment of the efficacy of therapeutic interventions, with 2 exceptions. In 1 data set psychotherapy was no longer found to be significantly more efficacious thanObjective: The aim of this study was to assess whether systematic reviews investigating psychotherapeutic interventions for depression are affected by publication bias. Only homogeneous data sets were included, as heterogeneous data sets can distort statistical tests of publication bias. Method: We applied Begg and Mazumdar's adjusted rank correlation test, Egger's regression analysis, and the trim and fill procedure to assess the presence and magnitude of publication bias in all homogeneous data sets of systematic reviews published up to September 2010. Results: Thirty-one data sets reported in 19 meta-analyses fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Significant bias was detected in 5 (16.13%; rank correlation test) and 6 (19.35%; Egger's regression analysis) of these data sets. Applying the trim and fill procedure to amend presumably missing studies rarely changed the assessment of the efficacy of therapeutic interventions, with 2 exceptions. In 1 data set psychotherapy was no longer found to be significantly more efficacious than pharmacotherapy in reducing dropout at posttreatment when publication bias was taken into account. In the 2nd data set, after correcting for publication bias, there was no longer evidence that depressed patients without comorbid personality disorder profited more from psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy than patients with comorbid personality disorder. Conclusions: The results suggest that taken together, psychotherapy research for depression is only marginally affected by the selective reporting of positive outcomes. With 2 notable exceptions, correcting for publication bias did not change the evaluation of the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Helen Niemeyer, Jochen Musch, Reinhard Pietrowsky
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031152
ISSN:0022-006X (print)
Parent Title (English):Journal of consulting and clinical psychology
Publisher:American Psychological Association
Place of publication:Washington
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:depression; meta-analysis; psychotherapy research; publication bias
Volume:81
Issue:1
Pagenumber:17
First Page:58
Last Page:74
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Sportmedizin und Prävention
Peer Review:Referiert