The Wisdom of Crowds (Vox Populi) and Antidepressant Use

Scott B Patten, * Open Modal Authors Info & Affiliations
Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health 30 Jan 2015 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1745017901511010001


Under certain conditions, groups of people may (collectively) make better judgments than experts. Galton connected this phenomenon to the phrase vox populi in a 1907 paper. Arguably, an example of the phenomenon may be found in recent stabilization of the frequency of antidepressant use, following decades of increases. There is no evidence that a change in physi-cian behaviour has caused this stabilization. The stable frequency more likely reflects decisions made by thousands of individual people based on their personal experiences. This may provide a statement from the vox populi on an optimal frequency of antidepressant use in contemporary populations under current conditions, a topic that has eluded the consensus of experts.

Keywords: Antidepressant medications, major depression, medication use, monitoring, pharmacoepidemiology, population health. .
Fulltext HTML PDF