Book Review: ‘Evidence-biased Antidepressant Prescription’ by Michael P. Hengartner

This book review by Marion Brown has been published by BJGP Life (which publishes comment and opinion on research and clinical care for the primary care community):

“Hengartner begins ‘Over my academic career, I went into different stages of belief and disbelief.’ In his studies of clinical psychology and psychopathology in Switzerland in the early 2000s he learned about Diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM)  and International classification of diseases (ICD) psychiatric diagnoses as if these were clear-cut natural disease entities, and was taught that this is how humans think, behave, and feel because it has been confirmed in this or that study. He never considered ‘that many, perhaps most of these studies, could be simply wrong.’

His discomfort began in 2010 when, as a PhD student, doing what he had been taught at university and by his supervisors somehow ‘didn’t feel right’. After completing his PhD in 2014 he took up a tenured position at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, where metascience, research methodology, statistics, and the philosophy of science became his primary research interests.

In this post he searched the scientific literature ‘“’This is when I opened Pandora’s box, for when you search the literature on publication bias in psychiatry, among the first research papers you’ll find are the seminal studies from the 2000s that demonstrated how selectively the results of antidepressant trials were published. Next, you’ll discover how pervasively the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted academic medicine and that drug manufacturers systematically bias the scientific evidence so that their products appear more effective and safer than they really are. You will probably also learn about the various flaws in the contemporary definition of depression and other mental disorders and how mental disorders were misleadingly marketed by the pharmaceutical industry to increase the sales of psychiatric drugs ‘ …”

You can read more from here.

Rate this post

Any reply would be very welcome


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

Your email address will not be passed to any other organisation. It will only be used to send you new posts made on this website.