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Evidence-Based Mental Health alerts clinicians to important advances in treatment, diagnosis, aetiology, prognosis, continuing education, economic evaluation, and qualitative research in mental health. We select and summarise the highest quality original and review articles. Experts in the field comment on the clinical relevance and context of each study.

Our target audience includes psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and other professionals whose work may be enhanced by up to date research. Evidence-Based Mental Health is multidisciplinary. It covers studies of adults, children, older adults, people who have developed psychiatric or psychological problems as a result of trauma, and people with learning disabilities, head injuries, drug and alcohol problems, and personality disorders.


The Editorial team screens each issue of 65 leading journals for articles that meet our criteria and the following journals are regularly reviewed:

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica


Age and Ageing

American Journal of Psychiatry

American Journal of Public Health

American Psychologist

Annals of Internal Medicine

Archives of General Psychiatry

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

Behaviour Research and Therapy

Behaviour Therapy


British Journal of Clinical Psychology

British Journal of General Practice

British Journal of Psychiatry

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

Child Development

Clinical Psychology Review

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Cognitive and Behavioral Practice

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

General Hospital Psychiatry

Health Psychology

International Journal of Behavioural Medicine

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Journal of Affective Disorders

Journal of Anxiety Disorders

Journal of Applied Psychology

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology

Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Journal of Clinical Psychology

Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Journal of Developmental Medicine Behavioral Pediatrics

Journal of Mental Health

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry

Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences

Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)


Molecular Psychiatry

New England Journal of Medicine


Psychiatric Services

Psychiatry Interpersonal and Biological Processes

Psychological Bulletin

Psychological Medicine

Psychology and Aging

Psychosomatic Medicine

Research in Developmental Disabilities

Schizophrenia Bulletin

Schizophrenia Research

Social Science and Medicine

United Kingdom Health Technology Assessment Reports

We also assess articles nominated by our readers.


Articles are considered for inclusion in Evidence-Based Mental Health if they are:

  • original or review articles

  • in English

  • about humans

  • about topics that are important to clinical practice in the field of mental health

  • use analysis techniques consistent with the study design.

Studies of prevention, treatment, quality improvement, and continuing education must also:

  • randomly allocate participants to comparison groups

  • follow up a high proportion of the original participants (eg 80%)

  • measure an outcome of known or probable clinical importance.

Studies of causation (aetiology) must also:

  • collect data prospectively if possible

  • identify a comparison group(s) for the outcome of interest

  • mask outcome observers to exposure (this criterion is assumed to be met if the outcome is objective).

Studies of diagnosis must also:

  • include a spectrum of participants, some, but not all of whom have the disorder of interest

  • include a diagnostic (gold) standard

  • include information about reliability if possible (measure of agreement among observers, for example)

  • ensure each participant receives both the new test and some form of the diagnostic standard

  • interpret the diagnostic standard and the new test result independently, without knowledge of the other test.

Studies of prognosis must also:

  • include an inception cohort of participants (first onset or assembled at a uniform point in the development of the disease), all initially free of the outcome of interest

  • follow up at least 80% of the original participants.

Studies of prevalence must also:

  • include a valid and repeatable definition of the disease or disorder

  • employ adequate sampling methods.

Studies of the cost-effectiveness of interventions must also:

  • compare alternative diagnostic or therapeutic services or quality improvement strategies

  • compare activities on the basis of the outcomes produced (effectiveness) and resources consumed (costs)

  • include data from real (not hypothetical) participants from studies which meet the quality criteria for other articles described above

  • present results in terms of the incremental or additional costs and outcomes of one intervention over another

  • include a sensitivity analysis when there is uncertainty in the estimates or imprecision in measurement.

In review articles, at least one article included in the review must meet the quality criteria for treatment, diagnosis, prognosis, causation, and cost effectiveness studies described above. Review articles must also:

  • clearly state the clinical topic

  • describe sources and methods

  • explicitly state inclusion and exclusion criteria for selecting articles.

Qualitative studies must meet the following criteria:

  • the content must relate to how people feel or experience situations that relate to mental health care

  • data collection methods must be appropriate for qualita tive studies. (For example, unstructured interviews, semi-structured interviews, participant observation of people in natural settings, focus groups, review of documents or text).


Relevant articles which meet these criteria are summarised using a structured abstract. Articles are reviewed by experts in the field who provide commentaries describing the context of the article, methodological problems that may affect interpretation, and recommendations for clinical application. If you are interested in writing an expert commentary, please contact Alan Lovell (alan.lovell{at}