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Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment. 2013 Oct-Dec;6(4):150-9. doi: 10.1016/j.rpsm.2012.11.002. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Characteristics of Spanish articles of "scientific quality" cited in clinical practice guidelines on mental health.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Unidad de Epidemiología, Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Universitario Vall Hebron, Barcelona, España; Agència d'Informació, Avaluació i Qualitat en Salut, (Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries de Catalunya), Barcelona, España; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, España.



The study aims to illustrate the impact of Spanish research in clinical decision making. To this end, we analysed the characteristics of the most significant Spanish publications cited in clinical practice guidelines (CPG) on mental health.


We conducted a descriptive qualitative study on the characteristics of ten articles cited in Spanish CPG on mental health, and selected for their "scientific quality". We analysed the content of the articles on the basis of the following characteristics: topics, study design, research centres, scientific and practical relevance, type of funding, and area or influence of the reference to the content of the guidelines.


Among the noteworthy studies, some basic science studies, which have examined the establishment of genetic associations in the pathogenesis of mental illness are included, and others on the effectiveness of educational interventions. The content of those latter had more influence on the GPC, because they were cited in the summary of the scientific evidence or in the recommendations. Some of the outstanding features in the selected articles are the sophisticated designs (experimental or analytical), and the number of study centres, especially in international collaborations. Debate or refutation of previous findings on controversial issues may have also contributed to the extensive citation of work.


The inclusion of studies in the CPG is not a sufficient condition of "quality", but their description can be instructive for the design of future research or publications.


Clinical practice guidelines; Decision-making impact; España; Evidence-based medicine; Guías de práctica clínica; Impacto en la toma de decisiones; Investigación cualitativa; Medicina basada en la evidencia; Qualitative research; Spain

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