P1: GCR/LCT/GMF/GIR P2: GCR
Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph129-psaq-375284 September 25, 2002 10:50 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 4, Winter 2002 (
COMPUTERS IN PSYCHIATRY: A REVIEW
OF PAST PROGRAMS AND AN ANALYSIS
OF HISTORICAL TRENDS
Amar K. Das, M.D., Ph.D.
In a variety of clinical settings, computers are playing an increasing role in
managing or retrieving clinical information. A recent survey of physician com-
puter use suggests that psychiatrists, in comparison to other types of medi-
cal specialists, may be using computers less in routine care. In this paper, we
present a literature review of 57 articles on computer programs in psychiatry
that were published since 1966 in ﬁve major peer-reviewed journals. We divide
the types of programs that have been developed into four categories: (1) diagnos-
tic and decision support, (2) patient screening and therapy, (3) data collection
and management, and (4) data modeling. Among the ﬁrst three categories, we
found trends in publications during the past three decades of research. We pro-
vide a discussion of representative computer programs. Our analysis of past
programs reveals a number of design problems that may be a barrier to the
more widespread use of computers in psychiatry.
KEY WORDS: computer programs; software design; decision support.
Address correspondence to Amar K. Das, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry,
Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10032; e-mail: ad333@
2002 Human Sciences Press, Inc.