Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-38

A systematic review and meta-analysis of trials of treatment of depression from India

Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.124711

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Background: Antidepressants hold the center stage in the treatment of depression in current clinical practice. However, it is also well-known that the treatment response and dosage requirement are influenced by ethnic variations. Although many efficacy studies have evaluated the efficacy of antidepressants, there is lack of systematic reviews and meta-analysis of the existing literature from India. Objective: To systematically review the efficacy of treatment of depression in the Indian context. Materials and Methods: We searched PubMed, Psychinfo, Medknow and Google scholar to identify studies published in peer-reviewed English language journals. All controlled trials from India evaluating the clinical efficacy of antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for management of depression were evaluated. Data were extracted using standard procedures and risk of bias was evaluated. Effect sizes were computed for the individual studies. Results: Effect sizes were computed from 35 clinical trials. Overall, medications were superior to placebo for treatment of depression (mean effect size (ES) of 0.87, confidence intervals (CI of 0.71-1.02). The effect was greatest for tricyclic antidepressants (ES of 1.00, CI of 0.80-1.21) followed by monoamine oxidase inhibitors (ES 0.54, CI of 0.40-0.67). ECT was superior to antidepressants (ES 0.32, CI of − 0.21 to 0.86) and active rTMS was found to be superior to sham rTMS with mean effect size of 0.74 (CI 0.39-1.08). Risk of bias was found to be considerable. However, the review literature suggests that most of the studies have not been powered adequately and have been limited to small sample sizes. Conclusions: Although there is some data from India with respect to efficacy of antidepressants, most of the trials have been of shorter duration have been inadequately powered. The available data support the superiority of antidepressants over placebo and that of ECT over antidepressants.



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