Clinical Depression Treatment: Issues and Solvings

Words: 731
Topic: Psychology

Explain a single research design that you would use

I would choose the AB-A Withdrawal Design. The first letter “A” represents a non-treatment phase, and it precedes the treatment phase, which is denoted by letter “B” (Royse, Thyer, & Padgett, 2015). The last letter “A” represents a non-treatment phase that occurs immediately after the intervention.

Why did you choose this design?

This design allows the appraisal of the effects of the approach used by comparing the behaviour of the individual before and after the intervention. The assessment of the behaviour before, during, and after the treatment allows the researcher to detect the effectiveness of the treatment. Such assertion holds because the changes in behaviour seen in the final non-treatment phase are attributable to the intervention availed.

Identify at least two ethical issues with your design

Beneficence, as a concept of the medical code of ethics, requires researchers and health practitioners to maximise the gains to a patient and minimise the inherent risks. In this research, only cognitive behaviour therapy would be available to patients, albeit other treatment procedures such as medical treatment would give better results. Additionally, delayed treatment in the first phase may compromise the principle of beneficence, which gives patients priority in any undertaking.

The medical code of ethics requires the guarantee of privacy of data extracted from patients. However, the storage of data regarding the treatment may only be done using computers. Therefore, the privacy of such information cannot be guaranteed because other staff in the hospital could access the information.

Explain how you would address the ethical issues identified

Patients who would not stabilise within a short period would be excluded from the study and offered treatment. Moreover, patients who would not respond positively to the intervention would be given alternative treatments upon completion of the study. This move underscores beneficence.

For compliance with the medical code of ethics regarding the privacy of data collected, personal names would be excluded in the sheet containing patient’s information. Additionally, I would ensure that the data obtained in this research is used solely for increasing knowledge on the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of depression.

Explain a group research design that you would use

I would choose the clinical trial random research design. This method involves the selection of a sample and dividing it into two groups (Royse et al., 2015). One group receives treatment while the other acts as a control. Under this method, I would select a sample from patients suffering from depression and divide the participants randomly into two groups, viz. the treatment and the control group. The treatment group would receive cognitive behaviour treatment, while the control group would not enjoy the mentioned treatment.

Why did you choose this design?

This research design allows the comparison of the results of the treatment and the control groups. Since the control group does not receive treatment, the results from the treatment group can be attributed to the treatment given hence the generalisation of the results is justifiable.

Identify at least two ethical issues with your design

The medical code of ethics requires researchers and other medical staff to utilise whatever is at their disposal to guarantee the patients’ safety. In this study, cognitive behaviour therapy would only be availed to the treatment group and denied to the control group. Therefore, the lack of treatment for the control group may conflict the beneficence principle of medical ethics.

Similarly, researchers are required to obtain informed consent from all the participants. Participants may be reluctant to engage in the research for fear of being placed in the control group, thus leading to non-disclosure of such information.

Explain how you would address the ethical issues identified

For beneficence, I would ensure that the study runs only for a short period to reduce the risks of non-treatment for the control group. I would exclude and afford treatment to participants in the control group, who show signs of severe depression in the course of the study. Similarly, I would give all the facts about the research to adhere to the ethical requirement of informed consent from the participants.

How would you determine the study sample for each design?

The participants for each of the described study would be drawn from patients with symptoms of depression. All the participants would be adults from either gender currently not receiving treatment for the condition.


Royse, D., Thyer, B., & Padgett, D. (2015). Program Evaluation: An Introduction to an Evidence-Based Approach. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.