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Psychiatry Res. 2015 Aug 30;228(3):708-14. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.039. Epub 2015 Jun 10.

Effect of intranasal oxytocin administration on psychiatric symptoms: A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled studies.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: shofmann@bu.edu.
2
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

Clinical trials of intranasal administration of oxytocin for treating psychiatric problems have yielded mixed results. To conduct a quantitative review of placebo-controlled clinical trials of intranasally-administered oxytocin (OT) for psychiatric symptoms, manual and electronic searches using PubMed and PsycINFO were conducted. Of 1828 entries, 16 placebo-controlled studies totaling 330 participants were included in the analysis. The overall placebo-controlled effect size was moderately strong (Hedges' g=0.67) and robust as suggested by the fail-safe N and funnel plot analysis. OT reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety, autism/repetitive behaviors, psychotic symptoms, and general psychopathology. In the combined sample, symptom reduction was moderated by frequency of administration. Publication year and diagnostic category did not moderate the effect of OT on the clinical outcome measures. We conclude that intranasal administration of OT is a potentially useful intervention for reducing psychiatric symptoms. However, more studies are needed to determine the best treatment target and to identify the mechanism of treatment change.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Autism; Depression; Oxytocin; Psychosis; Therapy

PMID:
26094200
PMCID:
PMC4532590
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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