The clinical utility of network analysis is still uncertain

mental disorder
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A paper published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, provides a careful analysis of network analysis, a new methodology for understanding psychiatric symptoms.

Network analysis is an analytical tool that allows one to explore the map of connections and eventual dynamic influences among symptoms and other elements of mental disorders. In recent years, the use of network analysis in psychopathology has rapidly grown, which calls for a systematic and critical analysis of its clinical utility.

This of published applying network analysis in psychopathology showed that network analysis has been applied in a plethora of mental disorders in adults (i.e., 13 studies on ; 19 on ; 7 on psychosis; 1 on substance abuse; 1 on borderline personality disorder; 18 on the association of symptoms between disorders), and 6 on childhood and adolescence.

A critical examination of the results of each study suggests that network analysis helps to identify, in an innovative way, important aspects of psychopathology like the centrality of the symptoms in a given disorder as well as the mutual dynamics among symptoms. Yet, despite these promising results, the clinical utility of is still uncertain as there are important limitations on the analytic procedures (e.g., reliability of indices), the type of data included (e.g., typically restricted to secondary analysis of already published data), and ultimately, the psychometric and clinical validity of the results.


Explore further

Is it possible to evaluate specific effects of psychotherapy in mild depression using a network approach?

More information: Alba Contreras et al. The Study of Psychopathology from the Network Analysis Perspective: A Systematic Review, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (2019). DOI: 10.1159/000497425
Journal information: Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Provided by Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Citation: The clinical utility of network analysis is still uncertain (2019, May 24) retrieved 22 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-05-clinical-network-analysis-uncertain.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
4 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more