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J Natl Med Assoc. 2002 May;94(5):313-9.

Symptom clusters in the diagnosis of affective disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia in African Americans.

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  • 1Department of Community Health and Social Medicine, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, City University of New York Medical School, New York 10031, USA.


The purpose of this study is to examine intercategory agreement among the symptom clusters associated with diagnoses of affective disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia in 156 African-American patients. It is hypothesized that there will be greater agreement between diagnosed schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia than either of these two disorders and affective disorder in a sample of African-American patients. Patients' diagnoses and symptoms of psychopathology, recorded by psychiatrists during hospital admission, were abstracted during chart reviews. The symptom clusters for diagnoses of schizoaffective disorders overlapped 41% with those of affective disorders and 71% with those of schizophrenia. The results support the assumption that schizoaffective disorder falls within the spectrum of schizophrenia disorders. Implications for studies involving the differential diagnosis of affective disorder and schizophrenia in African Americans are discussed.

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