Estimates of the annual cost of mental health problems to the United Kingdom range from £7bn to £32bn; mental health accounts for a quarter of all GP consultations. Given these figures it is not surprising that the search for effective treatments in psychiatry continues apace. From new drug therapies for schizophrenia to the use of cognitive behaviour therapy in managing depression, psychiatric research workers remain committed to discovering the best means of overcoming the misery that is mental illness. But for progress to be maintained and hopefully accelerated, competing treatments need to be assessed and compared in the most rigorous manner available. Such rigour is provided by the randomised clinical trial, which as implemented in psychiatry, is the subject of this book.We hope the material included will be useful for trainee psychiatrists who are very likely to be involved in clinical trials at some time in their careers, for psychiatrists currently applying clinical trial methodology and for other researchers in mental health who need to assess the implications of the results from psychiatric trials for patient care. We would like to thank the following people who have provided ideas, suggestions, criticisms and often all three, during the preparation of this book; Anders Skrondal, Catherine Gilvarry, Clive Adams, Sir Iain Chalmers, Barbara Farrell, Matthew Hotopf and Mike Slade. Finally thanks are due to Harriet Meteyard for much help during the writing of the book, particularly with the references.
Oxford University Press makes no representation, express or implied, that the drug dosages in this book are correct. Readers must therefore always check the product information and clinical procedures with the most up-to-date published product information and data sheets provided by the manufacturers and the most recent codes of conduct and safety regulations. The authors and the publishers do not accept responsibility or legal liability for any errors in the text or for the misuse or misapplication of material in this work.