What Me Mean By "Scientific"
The "scientific method" is a process of generating ideas, carrying out experiments and careful observation of results which has been central to technological progress for the last five hundred years. Proposed interventions, such as treatments for mental health, must be critically appraised to ensure that they are based on convincing evidence of effectiveness. This is best done by testing of hypotheses in large scale experiments with careful checking that no biases in the method used have distorted the results leading to invalid conclusions. Such experiments progressively develop a strengthening body of evidence on which to base clinical decisions.
Careful matching by the psychiatrist of the needs of a particular patient with the strongest and most relevant evidence for effective treatment is an important step in providing excellent care. Following a process such as this decreases the chance that health decisions are based on the clever marketing from a pharmaceutical company or the charisma of the leader of the latest fashion in psychological treatment.
Description of scientific ideas