The following guidelines specify the main criteria you may consider useful to assess the submitted manuscript.
1. Study Relevance. Consider if the study represents an original and relevant contribution to the field. You may judge if the relevance of the study has been solidly grounded on the “state of the art”.
2. The Abstract. Evaluate if the abstract includes all the most important aspects of the study.
3. Bibliographic Review. Consider if it is complete and up-to-date.
4. Referral complaints. Consider if an accurate analysis has been presented of the requests, complaints and/or goals put forward by the client, his/her family or the referral person or institution. In addition, evaluate if a description of the problem is included in the client’s words and an analysis of factors possibly associated with therapeutic resistance.
5. Demographic information. Consider if the most important characteristics of the patient are reported.
6. Assessment devices. Consider if the assessment devices, questionnaires and psychological tests have been correctly described. In addition, evaluate if the psychometric properties of the instruments are appropriate and if they have been properly selected taking into account the characteristics of the case.
7. Hypotheses. Consider if the hypotheses have been clearly and neatly formulated; if the postulated relationships are testable and the variables are properly defined. In addition, evaluate if the hypotheses are coherent with the case information and are theoretically grounded.
8. Intervention. Assess if the selection of the treatment goals and target behaviours are suitably described and justified. In addition, consider if the criteria for treatment selection are indicated and if a detailed description of the intervention process is included: description of the sessions, number and duration; obstacles encountered during the intervention; intervention procedures applied, sequential or simultaneous administration. Evaluate if the intervention techniques have been correctly applied.
9. Statistical Analysis. Judge if the statistics are appropriate to the case characteristics and the type of variables. Assess if the statistical analyses have been rigorously performed and the corresponding statistical assumptions have been considered.
10. The Results. Consider if the results are clearly and succinctly presented and follow a logical sequence. Evaluate if the interpretation of the results is correct and solidly grounded. Consider if a follow-up period of suitable duration was included.
11. Discussion. Consider if the discussion is complete and no results have been omitted. Assess if the discussion is closely related to the introduction and the hypotheses of the case and if the conclusions are justified by the results.
12. Tables and figures. Evaluate if the information is clearly displayed and does not duplicate the information in the text.
13. Ethical Standards. Consider if the ethical guidelines appropriate to the type of study have been followed. In addition, evaluate if enough information has been provided to judge if the study meets ethical standards. Pay special attention to the presence of statements that could be damaging to any person or institution.
14. Writing and organization. Consider if the manuscript is clearly written, the contents are well-organized and the sections are appropriately connected. Assess if the manuscript is neatly prepared and follows the instructions to authors and the style guidelines of the American Psychological Association.