An Introduction to Clinical Research in Psychiatry

An Introduction to Clinical Research in Psychiatry

by Dan G. Blazer, Judith C. Hays
     
 

The evaluation of psychiatric disorders and the delivery of mental health services is grounded in clinical research. Findings from published studies in scientific journals are translated by clinicians into changes in daily practice. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals read original research reports and case studies in journals, and often attend

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Overview

The evaluation of psychiatric disorders and the delivery of mental health services is grounded in clinical research. Findings from published studies in scientific journals are translated by clinicians into changes in daily practice. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals read original research reports and case studies in journals, and often attend scientific meetings where the latest research findings are presented. Yet despite their extensive education and experience, most psychiatrists do not have sufficient training in clinical research methods to evaluate critically the latest findings.
Blazer and Hays have written this primer to acquaint practitioners and residents with the basic methodology of study design. The book covers single-subject studies, description studies (such as case registers and population-based surveys), community surveys, cohort and case-control studies, longitudinal studies, population genetic studies and clinical trials. The focus is on clinical research in which the patient is the unit of analysis. The two authors write in clear style, uncluttered by technical jargon, so that their book will be accessible to readers with little or no grounding in clinical research methods. The theoretical presentation is illustrated with examples from published studies which highlight the problems typically encountered by clinicians involved in patient-oriented research in psychiatry.
Introduction to Clinical Research in Psychiatry employs an interactive, problem-based approach to introducing epidemiologic methods, which has been successfully tested in a course the authors taught at the Duke University School of Medicine. The book is designed primarily for mental health care professionals with little experience in research methods, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and others working in mental health centers, hospitals, and psychiatric ambulatory care centers.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Jeffrey S. Ross, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the first edition of a textbook on psychiatric clinical research methodology and analysis. It is largely based on a course taught by the authors at Duke University School of Medicine.
Purpose: The purpose of the book is to provide clinicians and students with an introductory overview of epidemiologic methods, and to enable a more extensive and critical understanding of journal reports. Though many general textbooks include a chapter on research methodology, few cover the topic with such clarity or detail.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is written for all mental health practitioners, ranging from psychiatrist to social worker. This appears to be somewhat overstated. While the authors do a nice job of covering research methodology, it is doubtful that all mental health clinicians require this degree of research knowledge to understand a journal study. In fact, the book seems more aptly targeted at residents or students newly introduced to journal studies, or mental health professionals interested in pursuing academia or research.
Features: The book consists of mostly text with frequent tables and figures to provide specific highlights. In addition, each chapter ends with a question and answer session which serves to nicely reinforce new learning and understanding. The table of contents and index appear adequate, and references are reasonably current, though most of the information presented is not time-sensitive. One omission that stands out is the absence of a section containing the more common rating instruments, which could help readers better understand research methods.
Assessment: This is a useful overview of the anatomy and physiology of mental health research. It appears most appropriate for novices or those pursuing a career in academia or clinical research. Non-academic clinicians may derive little benefit from this book, which has no clinical value other than as a primer for the critical evaluation of research studies. Therefore, purchase of this book can be recommended only for a select audience.
3 Stars from Doody
Jeffrey S. Ross
This is the first edition of a textbook on psychiatric clinical research methodology and analysis. It is largely based on a course taught by the authors at Duke University School of Medicine. The purpose of the book is to provide clinicians and students with an introductory overview of epidemiologic methods, and to enable a more extensive and critical understanding of journal reports. Though many general textbooks include a chapter on research methodology, few cover the topic with such clarity or detail. According to the authors, the book is written for all mental health practitioners, ranging from psychiatrist to social worker. This appears to be somewhat overstated. While the authors do a nice job of covering research methodology, it is doubtful that all mental health clinicians require this degree of research knowledge to understand a journal study. In fact, the book seems more aptly targeted at residents or students newly introduced to journal studies, or mental health professionals interested in pursuing academia or research. The book consists of mostly text with frequent tables and figures to provide specific highlights. In addition, each chapter ends with a question and answer session which serves to nicely reinforce new learning and understanding. The table of contents and index appear adequate, and references are reasonably current, though most of the information presented is not time-sensitive. One omission that stands out is the absence of a section containing the more common rating instruments, which could help readers better understand research methods. This is a useful overview of the anatomy and physiology of mental health research. It appears most appropriate fornovices or those pursuing a career in academia or clinical research. Non-academic clinicians may derive little benefit from this book, which has no clinical value other than as a primer for the critical evaluation of research studies. Therefore, purchase of this book can be recommended only for a select audience.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195102130
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/12/1998
Series:
Oxford Psychiatry Series
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Dan G. Blazer, M.D., Ph.D., is Dean of Medical Education at the Duke University School of Medicine, and J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Duke University Medical Center.
Judith C. Hays, Ph.D., R.N., is Assistant Research Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, and Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at the Duke University Medical Center.

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