ONLINE HELP FOR BETTER MENTAL HEALTH?

Is there a Web-based resource that would guide clinicians in establishing a treatment plan for mental disorders, such as depression?
—Fahim Farhat, MD, Houston

A host of Web-based resources can help physicians with treatment of mental disorders. Some sites are free; others are not. One of the easiest to use is MDConsult (www.mdconsult.com). This site returns information from textbooks, journal references, guidelines released by professional and governmental organizations, and news items. Journal articles are usually available for a fee. Often, hospital libraries have an institutional subscription, which allows medical staff to obtain references free or for a nominal charge. The American Psychiatric Association will allow you to purchase specific guidelines for download (pdf format) (www.psych.org/psych_pract/treatg/pg/prac_guide.cfm. Accessed April 19, 2007). These guidelines come with a downloadable “watch” feature that provides relevant updates. Information about treatment for clinicians and patients is available without charge from the National Institutes of Mental Heath Web site (www.nimh.nih.gov). Also gratis, the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (www.ahrq.gov) publishes evidence-based reviews and some treatment guidelines on psychiatric disorders.
—David Brody, MD, physician in charge, Psychiatric Outpatient Service, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City (103-8)

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