Clinical effectiveness and cost consequences of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of sex offenders

Adi Y, Ashcroft D, Browne K, Beech A, Fry-Smith A, Hyde C
Record ID 32002000921
Authors' objectives:

This report aims to systematically review the currently available evidence on the clinical effectiveness and cost-consequences of the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for the treatment of sex offenders.

Authors' results and conclusions: The effectiveness review included nine case series. The methodological quality of these was generally poor: only two enrolled consecutive patients, only one was prospective and only two explicitly stated that participants were sex offenders. The length of follow-up was insufficient to assess major long-term consequences on re-offence. Two-thirds of the studies reported some significant changes from baseline in the frequency of masturbation and the intensity of deviant fantasies. However, the scales used in assessing the outcomes were subjective and the validities not stated. This, together with the openness to bias of the study designs employed, suggested that the result should be approached with caution. Data on adverse events were reported in five of the nine studies, and, although apparently minor, were affected by the same provisos concerning internal and external validity.
Authors' recommendations: Although SSRIs are an intervention of clear potential importance for the treatment of sex offenders, there is great uncertainty about their effectiveness suggesting that further research should be the main priority.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2002
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Sex Offenses
  • Paraphilic Disorders
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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Contact Email:
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This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.