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SMAD. Revista eletrônica saúde mental álcool e drogas

versão On-line ISSN 1806-6976

SMAD, Rev. Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool Drog. (Ed. port.) vol.9 no.2 Ribeirão Preto ago. 2013




The importance of developing and disseminating research experiences and practices in mental health




Margarita Antonia Villar Luis

Chief Editor of the SMAD, Revista Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool e Drogas, Full Professor of the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research Development, Brazil, e-mail:



In this volume is possible to observe that most of the papers refers to the use of psychoactive substances and the topics covered are diversified as the investigated populations. This peculiarity is one more factor to encourage reading.

Considering the studied population groups, pregnant women whose drug use is present in the routine of health services stand out, but in relation to research it is an underexplored subject. Perhaps one reason for this is the need for dialogue between the professional working in obstetrics with that one who have knowledge about additions so this is a group in a condition that requests an interdisciplinary approach. The same is true for drug users treated at urgencies and emergencies health care services, as both groups are exposed to prejudice derived from beliefs regarding to whom and how should be people who seek health care in these conditions.

The expectation in relation to the pregnant woman, based on common sense, is that woman show happiness by her state and interest about the situation of the fetus, so it may seem unacceptable to the health professional that the pregnant woman is a user of psychoactive substances since this behavior may impact on the health of the child. In the case of care for urgencies and emergencies situations, is also expected a patient type in conditions that present high level of severity, complexity and dependency of the healthcare team. Drug users patients may even fit into this profile if they are injured or unconscious or at any situation that requires immediate action from health professionals. After the critical moment or when he/she is not in a condition of this nature predominate recriminations, moral judgments, withdrawal that may even demotivate the user to seek for health care or endanger their physical integrity in case of not receiving the health care they are entitled at the appropriate time. So, nothing is wiser than developing surveys of these two groups vulnerable to prejudice including in the health services themselves.

In relation to prejudice, the paper about crack users brings an unexplored perspective because the dependent of this substance has poor access to health services - unless professionals can establish a bond of trust and facilitate their enter and remain at the therapeutic plan that values the effort that this person is doing when he/she seeks for health care - it is  need to have some flexibility in the rules and regulations of the service. Hence, knowing what the dependent on crack thinks about relapse episode enables the professional to acquire better understanding of their experiences, absolute requirement to promote the approach and minimize the effects of value judgments and moral nature regarding the user.

College students continue to be the target of researchers in psychoactive substance studies, because there are sufficient evidences that they are a vulnerable population to the consumption of the same. The papers of this number has as object the students of the health area so those who at a given moment of his professional life can be at the condition of providers of care to persons involving complications, or even with problems arising from abuse or addiction of some psychoactive drug. In the specific case of this population it seems relevant search not only consumption but its motivations or reasons, because such information can contribute to higher education institutions reflect on the favorable or unfavorable health conditions that are offered to their students which in future will be responsible for the improvement of health status of communities. It is still worrying, or even tragic, thinking that there might be among them those who did not incorporate the value of their health, however, will be in the role of advising or caring for the health of others.

At the moment nothing is more appropriate than the study of personality disorders; in some ways they were a bit forgotten in the area of mental health care compared to other disorders treated in specialized services, because unlike other patients he/she can not be a regular patient subject to outbreaks and therefore a continuous frequenter of care offered by health team. The person with personality disorder may be even someone who ends up being referred to a mental health service more often when presenting any associated comorbidities. It is need to know more about these patients whose approach requires knowledge and interpersonal skills so the disclosure of work having them as research object and aggregate knowledge should serve as encouragement for others.

It is always constructive performing literature reviews in order to stimulate reflection; in the case of mental health is almost mandatory given the unique characteristics of the Brazilian health system, which is not perfect but, at least in law, is accessible to all citizens. Due to the high cost to modify a logic of mental health care which has proved to be ineffective  in the past. It should be alert so new errors do not lead to recession and make efforts to draw attention to the deficiencies and limitations as the quality of service management, human capital (health workers), the need for hiring and/or training staff where this is a priority with the main objective the improvement of care to users. The review that closes this number shows the reflections of a group, the expectation is that the paper motivate readers the desire to develop concrete actions.

As editor of the magazine I had the opportunity to read all the texts that are sent and it motivated the interest in establishing a "dialogue" with the researchers who submit their work in order to update the information about the communication area and dissemination of scientific knowledge particularly of their demands, considering the growing point to encourage the production of research, a trend that affects at global level, with more emphasis, the higher education institutions.

In this editorial the focus of the comments on the reason to be a scientific journal many do this question and can give various answers, according to specific and particular interests. However, in the academic and scientific world, it has a role of great importance because a scientific journal is a periodic that a particular intellectual community considers as the main knowledge communication channel in its area and as one of the arbiters of authenticity or legitimacy of this knowledge. The magazines also delimit intellectual standards, provide a space for communication among researchers, make public valuable information, help in establishing guidelines for the research and provide the historical record of a specific area of knowledge and finally provide implicit certification of authenticity and originality of their work to authors1. Beyond what has been indicated as is already known by all researchers scientific journals has the potential to serve their interests with a view to the advancement and consolidation in professional scientific career and personal reward of achieving the highest level of recognition in terms of knowledge.

Without scientific journals the knowledge would be limited to a small audience and have a short life as it would not be disseminated, so if the goal of the researcher is the discovery and the search for solutions and benefits for the welfare of humanity he/she need to acquire the dimension of what inner workings and complexity of the flow in the process of publishing a magazine represent2.

These placements were recorded in an attempt to highlight the importance of scientific journal as a vehicle that allows a space of communication of experiences built on scientific grounds, with methodological rigor and drafted carefully, in an objective and accessible language considering that readers will be numerous. It is also important highlight that the knowledge generated by the authors of the works will be reference and example for students, so the responsibility of researchers who submit work for publication does not finish with the end of the research, it is just beginning.

With this brief exposition is expected that the researchers in the role of authors understand the reasons why the editors of scientific journals return papers that were sent, most often, with the expectation of being published without any restriction. The acceptance with changes or even the refusal of the paper should not be seen as a failure but as an opportunity for scientific improvement and should serve as an encouragement to continue the research activity.

In the next editorial will be discussed other topics regarding scientific publication; this brief introduction is enough for now.



1. Lafollete MC. Stealing into Print.Fraud, Plagiarism, and Misconduc in Scientific Publishing. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press; 1992.         [ Links ]

2. Babor TF, Stenius K, Savva S, O'Relly J. Publishing Addiction Science: a guide for the perplexed. 2nd ed. Essex: World Health Organization and International Society of Addiction Journal Edictors; Multi-Science Publishing Company Ltd; 2008.         [ Links ]