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Divergences between reports in scientific journals and newspapers on the role of SSRIs in suicide risk: A longitudinal study in the Netherlands (NL) and United Kingdom (UK) - 2000-2009

By Juan F. Hernandez, Aukje K. Mantel-Teeuwisse, Ghislaine J.M.W. Van Thiel, Jan A.M. Raaijmakers and Toine Pieters


Background: The SSRI and suicidality controversy has played an important role in triggering public debates on the integrity of the pharmaceutical industry and the effectiveness of drug regulation. We used this controversy to investigate the dissemination of knowledge during a drug safety event between the scientific literature and newspapers. Objectives: To investigate the press coverage on SSRIs and suicidality in NL and UK newspapers and in scientific journals; and to relate their reporting patterns. Methods: Scientific articles were systematically collected from Embase using pre-defined key word sets, and NL and UK newspapers via LexisNexis during the period 2000-2009. Extracted articles were categorized by effect (positive, neutral, negative; related to suicidality risk and treatment effect), type of article and age group. The articles' positive/negative effect ratio was determined. Effect differences between, and within, scientific journals and newspapers were tested using χ2statistics. Results: 1141 articles were fully categorized, 352 scientific, 224 Dutch, and 565 British newspaper articles. Scientific articles were more often positive than negative (ratio=3.5; 3.5;

Topics: serotonin uptake inhibitor, scientific literature, publication, United Kingdom, longitudinal study, risk, suicide, risk management, Netherlands, pharmacoepidemiology, groups by age, drug safety, Embase, statistics, epidemiology, anxiety, evidence based medicine, drug industry, law suit
Year: 2011
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