Evidence-Based Relationship Factors in the Diagnosis & Treatment of Mood and Psychotic Disorders

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 1166

Special Issue Editors

Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, 21-27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: therapeutic relationship; psychoanalysis; evidence-based assessment; evidence-based treatment; mood disorder
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Grossman School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA
Interests: bipolar disorder; depression; suicide; adolescents; technology; evidence-based assessment; evidence-based treatment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599‑3270, USA
Interests: bipolar disorder; mood disorder; evidence-based assessment; evidence-based treatment; emotions; clinical decision making
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mood and psychotic disorders are common types of mental disorders and one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. They lead to cognitive and social functioning impairments, negative impact on the quality of life, and higher suicidality and mortality rates. All this entails high costs for patients, families and the society. Currently, pharmacotherapy represents the most widely used treatment option, but growing evidence suggests that although it is effective in the treatment of acute episodes, medication alone does not help many patients achieve functional recovery. Psychotherapies, especially in combination with pharmacotherapy, are effective in producing behavioral and lifestyle changes essential for relapse prevention, long-term maintenance and promoting positive function (vs. symptom reduction) in people with mood or psychotic disorders, yet there is still much to improve in our understanding, management and treatment of these disorders from a psychological perspective. Waiting for progress in personalized psychiatric treatment approaches that could lead to precise biological interventions, implementing evidence-based psychological assessment and treatment for mood and psychotic disorders is essential to reduce their burden at the individual, societal and public health levels. An efficient assessment process is essential because it leads to a more accurate diagnosis, better treatment matching, increased patient engagement, and enhanced outcomes. However, to be fully effective evidence-based assessment should be ‘humanized’ because both diagnostic and psychotherapeutic processes take place within the scope of the patient–clinician relationship. The technical and relational components of the latter are constantly and reciprocally interacting and the relationship accounts for process and outcome variance in and of itself.

This special issue of the Journal of Clinical Medicine (JCM) focuses on the current state of knowledge on the role of the relationship elements in the care of (child, adolescent and adult) patients with mood or psychotic disorders and their families.  New research papers and reviews are welcome to this issue.  Papers dealing with methodological aspects of an evidence-based approach to assessment and either pharmacological, psychotherapeutic or combined treatment are also welcome.

Our goal with this Special Issue is to bring the perspectives and methods of psychology, including your work, to a new audience, with the open access amplifying the ability for the information to be shared rapidly through new connections in the web of collaboration and science.

Dr. Alberto Stefana
Dr. Anna Van Meter
Prof. Dr. Eric A. Youngstrom
Prof. Dr. Eduard Vieta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Clinical Medicine is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • mood disorder
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • psychotic disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • diagnostic relationship
  • therapeutic relationship

Published Papers (1 paper)

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17 pages, 1155 KiB  
Development and Initial Validation of the in-Session Patient Affective Reactions Questionnaire (SPARQ) and the Rift In-Session Questionnaire (RISQ)
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(15), 5156; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12155156 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1022
This article discusses the development and preliminary validation of a self-report inventory of the patient’s perception of, and affective reaction to, their therapist during a psychotherapy session. First, we wrote a pool of 131 items, reviewed them based on subject matter experts’ review, [...] Read more.
This article discusses the development and preliminary validation of a self-report inventory of the patient’s perception of, and affective reaction to, their therapist during a psychotherapy session. First, we wrote a pool of 131 items, reviewed them based on subject matter experts’ review, and then collected validation data from a clinical sample of adult patients in individual therapy (N = 701). We used exploratory factor analysis and item response theory graded response models to select items, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to test the factor structure, and k-fold cross-validation to verify model robustness. Multi-group CFA examined measurement invariance across patients with different diagnoses (unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, and neither of these). Three factors produced short scales retaining the strongest items. The in-Session Patient Affective Reactions Questionnaire (SPARQ) has a two-factor structure, yielding a four-item Negative affect scale and a four-item Positive affect scale. The Relationship In-Session Questionnaire (RISQ) is composed of four items from the third factor with dichotomized responses. Both scales showed excellent psychometric properties and evidence of metric invariance across the three diagnostic groups: unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, and neither of these. The SPARQ and the RISQ scale can be used in clinical or research settings, with particular value for capturing the patient’s perspectives about their therapist and session-level emotional processes. Full article
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