Authors' reply

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7029.513 (Published 24 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:513
  1. Christopher Dowrick,
  2. Iain Buchan
  1. Senior lecturer Department of Primary Care, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX
  2. Honorary lecturer Department of Medicine, University of Liverpool

    EDITOR,—The assertion that depression has a better prognosis if detected by general practitioners1 is refuted in our sample. Our study was not designed to test a treatment effect, and it is therefore not relevant to criticise it, as David Goldberg does, for failing to show one. Goldberg iterates our conclusion that a prevalence sample may show apparently worse outcomes than an incidence sample, though why he is worried about this is unclear. There are methodological hazards in defining incidence samples in primary care settings, particularly if incidence is confused with first recognition by a general practitioner. We …

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