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Br J Psychiatry. 2001 Jan;178(1):18-22.

Accuracy of general practitioner's prognosis of the 1-year course of depression and generalised anxiety.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Graduate School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. r.h.s.van.den.brink@med.rug.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A prognosis serves important functions for the management of common mental disorders in primary care.

AIMS:

To establish the accuracy of the general practitioner's (GP) prognosis.

METHOD:

The agreement between GP prognosis and observed course was determined for 138 cases of ICD-10 depression and 65 of generalised anxiety disorder, identified among consecutive attenders of 18 GPs.

RESULTS:

Modest agreement between GP prognosis and course was found, both for depression (kappa=0.21) and generalised anxiety (kappa=0.11). Better agreement (kappa=0.45 for depression, and kappa=0.33 for generalised anxiety) was observed between the course and predictions from a statistical model based on information potentially available to the GP at the time the prognosis was made. This model assesses attainable performance for GPs.

CONCLUSIONS:

General practitioners do a fair job in predicting the 1-year course of depression and generalised anxiety. Even so, their performance falls significantly short of attainable performance.

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PMID:
11136205
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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