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Where are the breaks in translation from theory to clinical practice (and back) in addressing depression? An empirical graph-theoretic approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 December 2018

Greg J. Siegle*
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Angélique O.J. Cramer
Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands
Nees Jan van Eck
Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
Philip Spinhoven
Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
Steven D. Hollon
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Johan Ormel
University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Marlene Strege
Virginia Tech, Nashvile, CA, USA
Claudi L. H. Bockting
Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Author for correspondence: Greg J. Siegle, E-mail:



Research in depression has progressed rapidly over the past four decades. Yet depression rates are not subsiding and treatment success is not improving. We examine the extent to which the gap between science and practice is associated with the level of integration in how depression is considered in research and stakeholder-relevant documents.


We used a network-science perspective to analyze similar uses of depression relevant terms in the Google News corpus (approximately 1 billion words) and the Web of Science database (120 000 documents).


These analyses yielded consistent pictures of insular modules associated with: (1) patient/providers, (2) academics, and (3) industry. Within academia insular modules associated with psychology, general medical, and psychiatry/neuroscience/biology were also detected.


These analyses suggest that the domain of depression is fragmented, and that advancements of relevance to one stakeholder group (academics, industry, or patients) may not translate to the others. We consider potential causes and associated responses to this fragmentation that could help to unify and advance translation from research on depression to the clinic, largely involving harmonizing employed language, bridging conceptual domains, and increasing communication across stakeholder groups.

Original Articles
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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