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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Antidepressants versus placebo for the depressed elderly

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2001
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (88th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 policy sources
1 X user
2 Wikipedia pages


116 Dimensions

Readers on

225 Mendeley
Antidepressants versus placebo for the depressed elderly
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2001
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd000561
Pubmed ID

Kenneth Wilson, Patricia G Mottram, Anushta Sivananthan, A Nightingale


Depression warranting intervention is found in ten percent of people over the age of 60. Older depressed people are more likely to die than non-depressed. Relatively few receive therapeutic interventions, and those that do, tend to receive low dose antidepressant therapy. Depression in older people is thought to differ in terms of aetiology, presentation, treatment and outcome than in younger people. Concomitant physical illness and increasing social, physical and neurophysiological diversity are associated with the ageing process. Consequently drug treatment of older patients is often carried out in institutions and on patients suffering from multiple physical problems. To determine the efficacy of antidepressant medication compared with placebo in the treatment of depression in older patients. The search strategy incorporated: electronic literature searches of databases held by the Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Review Group (CCDAN) (see Collaborative Review Group Search Strategy). Reference lists of related reviews and references of located studies. Contact was made with authors working in the field. All randomised, placebo controlled trials using antidepressants in the treatment of the presenting episode of depression in patients described as elderly, geriatric senile or older adult. Two types of data were extracted (if available) from each study. The first type of data was dichotomous data, this consisted of recovered/not recovered. The second, continuous data,included: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), Montgomery-Asberg Rating Scale (MADRS) and other depression rating scale scores. An analysis using Peto Odds ratios for the dichotomous data and weighted mean difference for continuous data was performed using RevMan 3.1. The presence of heterogeneity of treatment effect was assessed. Seventeen trials contributed data to the analyses comparing the efficacy of antidepressant treatment and placebo. Analyses of efficacy was based on 245 patients treated with TCAs (223 with placebo), 365 patients treated with SSRIs (372 with placebo) and 58 patients treated with MAOIs (63 with placebo). The standardised effect size for the three groups respectively were: TCAs; OR: 0.32 (0.21,0.47), SSRIs; OR; 0.51 (0.36,0.72), MAOIs: 0.17 (0.07,0.39). TCAs, SSRIs and MAOIs are effective in the treatment of older community patients and inpatients likely to have severe physical illness. At least six weeks of antidepressant treatment is recommended to achieve optimal therapeutic effect. There is little evidence concerning the efficacy of low dose TCA treatment. Further trials are required before low dose TCA treatment is routinely recommended.

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 225 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 <1%
France 1 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Unknown 216 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 28 12%
Student > Master 26 12%
Student > Bachelor 24 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 9%
Other 13 6%
Other 49 22%
Unknown 64 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 64 28%
Psychology 24 11%
Nursing and Health Professions 21 9%
Social Sciences 9 4%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 8 4%
Other 29 13%
Unknown 70 31%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 10. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 April 2023.
All research outputs
of 25,604,262 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,148 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 114,463 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 43 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,604,262 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 86th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,148 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 52% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 114,463 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 43 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.