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Effects of paroxetine on emotional functioning and treatment awareness: a 4-week randomized placebo-controlled study in healthy clinicians.

Author(s): Besnier N, Casse-Perrot C, Jouve E, Nguyen N, Lancon C, Falissard B, Blin O

Affiliation(s): Pole de Psychiatrie Adultes-Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Marseille, Hopital Sainte Marguerite, 270 bd de Sainte Marguerite, 13009 Marseille, France. nathalie.besnier@ap-hm.fr

Publication date & source: 2010-01, Psychopharmacology (Berl)., 207(4):619-29. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to evaluate the effects of paroxetine on emotional functioning in three arms: double-blind paroxetine (DBPX), single-blind paroxetine (SBPX), and double-blind placebo (DBPO). Healthy psychologists and psychiatrists were elected for their ability to analyze with correct sensibility changes in their emotions. METHOD: Thirty nonanxious, nondepressed participants working as psychiatrists (N = 18) or psychologists (N = 12) were randomly assigned to receive an ambulatory treatment with paroxetine (DBPX N = 10, SBPX N = 10) or placebo (DBPO N = 10). Paroxetine was administered for 4 weeks at 20 mg/day. Emotional functioning was evaluated with the Emotional State Questionnaire (ESQ), a self-questionnaire designed to assess four emotional dimensions: "recognition," "expression," "internal emotional experience," and "social context." Changes in emotional measures from baseline to D0, D7, D14, D28, and D42 were compared between treatment groups. RESULTS: Analyses of ESQ showed in DBPX a significant decrease from baseline to D28 in internal emotional experience as compared to SBPX and DBPO groups. A different influence of gender between treatment groups on emotional recognition was observed. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study assessing the impact of a 4-week paroxetine treatment on emotional functioning in healthy psychiatrists and psychologists. The DBPX group was distinguishable from both SBPX and DBPO groups by a decrease in internal emotional experience, suggesting that two factors could be involved in the clinical response to paroxetine: a decrease in emotional feeling and treatment awareness.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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