Reading Research “Research in Brief” in the March 2016 issue of The ASHA Leader had a captivating summary titled “Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy May Increase Risk of Autism.” The summary raised concern, as one of the authors was quoted as saying, “Taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of pregnancy almost ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   May 01, 2016
Reading Research
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Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Inbox
Inbox   |   May 01, 2016
Reading Research
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN.21052016.4
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN.21052016.4
“Research in Brief” in the March 2016 issue of The ASHA Leader had a captivating summary titled “Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy May Increase Risk of Autism.” The summary raised concern, as one of the authors was quoted as saying, “Taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of pregnancy almost doubles the risk that the child will be diagnosed with autism by age 7.”
I was compelled to write because of the heightened emotionality surrounding the autism diagnosis and the propensity toward fear that can lead to confusion, guilt, ineffective treatments and potentially detrimental decisions.
As a cohort study with conclusions based on adjusted hazard ratio values—not considered the best evidence—and no significance (p-values) provided, the research in this study was not adequate to make generalizations to individuals outside the scope of the study.
I contacted my family-practice doctor, who reviewed the article, further warned against generalizing the results, and encouraged additional review of evidence from randomized control trials, not cohort or other research designs.
The credibility of our profession requires that we thoroughly review our research as well as the research we share with one another and provide to our patients/clients.
Review should involve identification of the research design (cohort versus randomized controlled trial), data analysis technique (Cox Regression vs. ANOVA) and significance of results (confidence intervals and p-values).
Mimi Burch, Zionsville, Indiana

When research indicates possible harm, it is imperative to disseminate the findings, even if the highest level of evidence has not yet been reported. Thanks for the reminder that it’s important to read research with a critical eye, even when published in a reputable journal such as JAMA Pediatrics.

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FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2016
Volume 21, Issue 5