From the Editor

How has psychiatric research changed over time?

In the first selection, Sheng Chen (of CAMH) and co-authors attempt to answer this question by focusing on randomized controlled trials in mental health in a new paper for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Using the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, they look at almost 6,700 RCTs published over the past decades. They find: “the number of mental health RCTs increased exponentially from 1965 to 2009, reaching a peak in the years 2005–2009,” and observe a shift away from pharmacologic studies.

RCTs: the gold standard of research

In the second selection, Sajan B. Patel (of St Mary’s Hospital) et al. consider ChatGPT and health care in a new Lancet Digital Health Comment. Noting that discharge summaries tend to be under-prioritized, they wonder if this AI program may help in the future, freeing doctor to do other things. “The question for the future will be how, not if, we adopt this technology.”

And in the third selection, writer Anna Mehler Paperny focuses on campaigns to reduce stigma in a hard-hitting essay for The Globe and Mail. She argues that action is urgently needed to address mental health problems. She writes: “We need more than feel-good bromides. Every time someone prominent utters something about how important mental health is, the follow should be: So what? What are you doing about it? And when?”


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