Why We Create Algorithms Evidence-based practices in psychopharmacology often require years to become widely adopted. This project is an effort to speed the adoption of best research evidence into day-to-day treatment of patients. For each algorithm published here the literature is extensively reviewed and published as a peer reviewed article in preparation for creating the algorithm.
Algorithms are also valuable to help avoid the cognitive lapses which are common when we solve problems which rely on uncertain data and many possible choices. For example our recent success or failure with a particular drug is likely to influence our choices more than it should.
Intended Users The algorithms are for psychiatrists. The information in them often proves most helpful in difficult cases where it is necessary to change treatments after the first and second line treatments have failed or given insufficient benefit.
Other physicians, nurses, mental health professionals and patients are welcome to use them. While we avoid jargon the language used is intended for professionals. We hope the algorithms can support informed participation by all who are interested in choice of treatments.
The algorithms are available on all platforms: desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones. All of the algorithms are in one application called "Psychopharmacology Consults". It can be used over the Web by any device.
This project is headed by David N. Osser, M.D. who has published psychopharmacology algorithms for many years in academic journals and on the Web. He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) Department of Psychistry, South Shore Program. He currently directs an innovative vidio-conference enabled consltation program for bipolar disorder which assess patients in various cities throughout the Veterans Administration system. For over two decades he worked at the Taunton State Hospital (Mass) which served a severely ill very treatment resistent population. Dr. Osser's biography is in the Authors page.
Robert Patterson, M.D. is a psychiatrist associated with McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School who provides the computing skills for the project.
A number of other psychiatrists have participated in authoring algotithms. Their biograpies are in the Authors page.
Conflict of Interest
The authors feel strongly that conflicts of interest must not be allowed to influence the recommendations of the algorithms. Dr. Osser and the other authors have no income from pharmaceutical or other companies which might influence their decisions. There is no advertising support for this project.
This site and the downloadable algorithm apps do not collect any personal information - not even registration information. We do not store information in cookies on your device.
Limitations / Warning
The suggestions in these algorithms are only suggestions. Clinical decisions for individual patients require skilled judgment which cannot be mimicked in these algorithms.
We welcome submission of algorithms for publication in this series.
Algorithms should be evidence-based and include references. They should be carefully constructed to cover easy as well as difficult situations where there is little or conflicting research and they should handle even unusual clinical situations without leading to erroneous recommendations.
Submitted algorithms should have passed rigorous independent peer revue. Publication in a peer reviewed journal is ideal but other peer revue mechanisms may be adequate.
Authors will be expected to update the algorithms as knowledge advances.
We will assist authors in creating the computerized version. Authors can use the tools we have assembled. The tools (Joomla!, Gvedit, EndNote and our page display scripts), except for EndNote, are free software and do not require technical software knowledge.
Contact David N. Osser (dno@TheWorld.com)