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February 1961

Does Clinical Research Interfere with Treatment?

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(2):105-108. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710080001001

There may be observed in psychiatry today the development of a new tradition, or the rebirth of an old one: that of clinical research. This is the reflection of a changing concept of psychiatry and is the result of several identifiable influences. Like every new tradition, it is a potential source of conflict with the old. But first, what is clinical research in psychiatry?

Clinical Research in Psychiatry

I think it would be a mistake to identify clinical research in psychiatry as investigation into the cause and cure of mental disease. To do so would imply that there is such an entity as mental disease, which we can identify and upon which we are generally agreed, so that the only problems are to find out what causes it and how to dispose of it. By contrast I would propose that our primary phenomenon is

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