Research Topic

Methodological Approaches in the Evaluation of Therapeutic Effects in Mental Health

About this Research Topic

The assessment of therapeutic effects in the field of mental health is challenging on account of the non-availability of laboratory-based results. Given the lack of direct evidence, improvement of patients in terms of their health conditions, pathophysiology, severity, etc. it becomes an onerous task. Although standardized validated instruments enable the assessment of the health conditions to some extent, these are less acceptable due to their diminished psychometric properties and cross-cultural adaptability. Hence, there is a need to devise methodologies that can effectively assess the benefits of therapy (pharmacological, non-pharmacological) with greater credibility, and in the process serve as analogous evidence to lab-based results in the field of mental health. Studies are needed to address the pertinent question in the present and future “how we can assess the success of treatment in mental health?”

In the medical literature, there is a lack of consensus on the quantitative approaches that can effectively evaluate the success of treatment in mental health. The methodological considerations in the existing studies are mostly singular and we need studies that are more pluralistic encompassing dimensions of genomics, proteomics, functional imaging, etc. The triangulation of evidence from different dimensions might more effectively characterize the profile of patients with likely benefits of therapies. This might also help in obtaining a subgroup of patients among whom the success could not be ascertained with a greater degree. With this background, we envisage proposing this Research Topic that has ample opportunity at broadening our knowledge for a more accurate assessment of diseased conditions such as the effects of exposures, improvement in cognitive abilities, enhanced pathophysiology, and psychopathology for different diseased conditions in mental health. The topic may interest clinical researchers from mental health as the assessment of therapeutic effects is of prime importance in terms of improvements due to a particular treatment regimen, likely benefit of interventions, and cognitive rehabilitation.

The Topic Editors welcome articles that aim at improving research methodology, clinical trials, and meta-analysis/systematic review/Network Meta-Analysis for effectively assessing the success of therapeutic effect. The triangulation of evidence from different dimension of genomics, proteomics, functional imaging, etc. will be of special interest. We envisage studies with a newer innovative method both in terms of their design and rigorous application of methodologies aimed at effective evaluation of therapeutic effect in mental health. The triangulation of data with the adoption of rigorous quantitative methods like prior distribution of effect and deriving the posterior distribution of the effect with application of the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm and using Monte Carlo Simulation-based studies will be welcomed immensely. This Research Topic is looking forward to articles discussing the enhancement in study design, potential biases, study, and intervention effects, risk assessment to patients, etc. by using triangulation of evidence either from previous studies or mathematical modeling, and a tutorial comparing the traditional analytical approach with more rigorous quantitative methods.

Image credit: Janvi Mishra


Keywords: Evaluation, Psychometry, Therapy, Intervention, Mental Health


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The assessment of therapeutic effects in the field of mental health is challenging on account of the non-availability of laboratory-based results. Given the lack of direct evidence, improvement of patients in terms of their health conditions, pathophysiology, severity, etc. it becomes an onerous task. Although standardized validated instruments enable the assessment of the health conditions to some extent, these are less acceptable due to their diminished psychometric properties and cross-cultural adaptability. Hence, there is a need to devise methodologies that can effectively assess the benefits of therapy (pharmacological, non-pharmacological) with greater credibility, and in the process serve as analogous evidence to lab-based results in the field of mental health. Studies are needed to address the pertinent question in the present and future “how we can assess the success of treatment in mental health?”

In the medical literature, there is a lack of consensus on the quantitative approaches that can effectively evaluate the success of treatment in mental health. The methodological considerations in the existing studies are mostly singular and we need studies that are more pluralistic encompassing dimensions of genomics, proteomics, functional imaging, etc. The triangulation of evidence from different dimensions might more effectively characterize the profile of patients with likely benefits of therapies. This might also help in obtaining a subgroup of patients among whom the success could not be ascertained with a greater degree. With this background, we envisage proposing this Research Topic that has ample opportunity at broadening our knowledge for a more accurate assessment of diseased conditions such as the effects of exposures, improvement in cognitive abilities, enhanced pathophysiology, and psychopathology for different diseased conditions in mental health. The topic may interest clinical researchers from mental health as the assessment of therapeutic effects is of prime importance in terms of improvements due to a particular treatment regimen, likely benefit of interventions, and cognitive rehabilitation.

The Topic Editors welcome articles that aim at improving research methodology, clinical trials, and meta-analysis/systematic review/Network Meta-Analysis for effectively assessing the success of therapeutic effect. The triangulation of evidence from different dimension of genomics, proteomics, functional imaging, etc. will be of special interest. We envisage studies with a newer innovative method both in terms of their design and rigorous application of methodologies aimed at effective evaluation of therapeutic effect in mental health. The triangulation of data with the adoption of rigorous quantitative methods like prior distribution of effect and deriving the posterior distribution of the effect with application of the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm and using Monte Carlo Simulation-based studies will be welcomed immensely. This Research Topic is looking forward to articles discussing the enhancement in study design, potential biases, study, and intervention effects, risk assessment to patients, etc. by using triangulation of evidence either from previous studies or mathematical modeling, and a tutorial comparing the traditional analytical approach with more rigorous quantitative methods.

Image credit: Janvi Mishra


Keywords: Evaluation, Psychometry, Therapy, Intervention, Mental Health


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 June 2021 Abstract
23 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 June 2021 Abstract
23 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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