The author reviews the efforts of medicine and psychiatry to understand
their decision-making processes and notes the lack of psychiatric
literature in this area. The decision table, a sophisticated form of
algorithm, is introduced as a structure to help explain the decision-
making process. This tool is applied to the evaluation and biological
treatment of depression. Decision tables can be used as an educational
tool, a method to facilitate the delivery of mental health care, a method
to monitor the quality of treatment, and as a research tool.