Evidence-Based Pharmacological and Behavioral Interventions

Pharmacotherapy refers to the study of the healing uses and results of drugs. It enables clear, logical, and reliable reviews of the effectiveness of the use of drugs in treatment (Hersen & Sturmey, 2012). Pharmacotherapy can be used in the treatment of psychosocial disorders. Generally, psychological disorders are the factors that affect the mental health of individuals. A number of social influences such as peer influences, religious orientation, socioeconomic status and interpersonal associations shape individuals’ personality and affect their psychological composition (Mayer, 2009).

These disorders often make it difficult for the affected to adequately operate within social environments. This paper analyses the evidence-based standards as well as guidelines used in the determination of the effectiveness of pharmaco-therapuetics and behavioral interventions for clients with psychological complications.

Bipolar disorder is a state in which individuals go through irregular or unusual high and depressed states in a way that affect their operations. Various methods have been used in the treatment of psychosocial disorders (Drake, Goldman & APA, 2003). One approach in the quest to know the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy first considers the possibility of ‘comorbidity’ and checks into epidemiology. Comorbidity refers to the results of the other illnesses a person may have other than the main one under consideration while epidemiology involves studying patterns and spread of health events and their causes.

The genetic factors of the individual are studied, together with the mental and family distinctiveness. These have been found to have considerable effects on the outcome of the treatment. Stressful life events affect the course of psychosocial disorder diseases. Therefore, they are included in the quest of knowing the effectiveness of a treatment (Drake, Goldman & APA, 2003). A buildup of stressful life events for a long period in children whose parents are bipolar may also make the children to be bipolar. Consequently, this may influence the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy (Hillegers, Burger, Wals, Reichart, Verhulst, &Nolen, 2004).

Stressful life events, relationships and peer pressure are also linked to slow improvement in temper control among youths undergoing bipolar disorder. This is particularly observed in treatment with medications that control mood as well as other psychosocial interventions. Therefore, these must be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy as well as behavioral interventions.

Assessments must be conducted to ensure that the pharmacotherapy or behavior treatment given is effective. This should include relatives of the patient, noted response to medication as well as the patient and family life history. (Hersen & Sturmey, 2012). Researchers have urged medical personnel to take in to consider their research findings when deciding on which prophylactic drug to apply on their psychosocial patients (Young & Hammond, 2007). The use of lithium in the treatment of bipolar disorder is a classic example for the need to consider research findings through assessment of the patient. There has been increasing evidence that lithium is effective in treatment of bipolar disorder yet it was found out that not all bipolar patients respond well to lithium.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of the interventions used in the treatment of psychosocial disorders depends on the clinician understanding the patient. That is, patient history, psychological and social factors notable. The clinician also ought to be aware of the effects of the medication in context. These factors enhance the monitoring of the effectiveness of pharmacological as well as behavioral interventions for psychosocial disorder can be well predicted.


Drake, E., Goldman H. & APA, (2003). Evidence-based practices in mental health care. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.

Hersen, M. & Sturmey, P. (2012). Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Psychology, Child and Adolescent Disorders. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Hillegers, H., Burger, H., Wals, M., Reichart, G., Verhulst, C. & Nolen, A. (2004). Impact of stressful life events familial loading and their interaction on the onset of mood disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 185(1), 97–101.

Mayer, M. (2009). Cognitive-behavioral interventions for emotional and behavioral disorders: School-based practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Young, H. & Hammond, M. (2007). Lithium in mood disorders: Increasing evidence base, declining use?. British Journal of Psychiatry, 191(6), 474–476.