“Fast tracking informative clinical trials: lessons for mental health” – our commentary in Lancet Psychiatry
Recent policy initiatives, such as the World Health Assembly’s Resolution to Strengthen Clinical Trials and the Independent Pandemic Preparedness Secretariat’s 100 Days Mission, have called for clinical trials to be strengthened as a response to future pandemics. In our latest article published in Lancet Psychiatry, we argue that similar efforts must be made to improve the clinical research landscape for non-communicable diseases, particularly mental health.
With the silent pandemics of depression and other mental conditions posing a major threat to health and wellbeing globally, we need to ensure that trials in this field are well-designed, efficient and powered to reliably detect relevant treatment effects.
The mental health field can take important learnings from the few trials that rapidly changed the evidence base during the pandemic and avoid the shortcomings of the many that did not produce meaningful answers to relevant questions.
Guidance by the Good Clinical Trials Collaborative describes the five fundamental principles required to deliver a good, randomized trial. These can be readily applied to mental health to make sure future trials do not repeat the errors of the past and become more informative and relevant for clinical practice.