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Psychopathology. 2005 Jan-Feb;38(1):32-7. Epub 2005 Feb 15.

Diagnostic stability in depressive disorder as according to ICD-10 in clinical practice.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. lars.kessing@rh.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The diagnostic stability of the ICD-10 diagnosis of depressive disorder has not been investigated in clinical practice.

SAMPLING AND METHODS:

All patients who were diagnosed with depressive disorder at least once in a period from 1994 to 2002 in psychiatric out- or inpatient settings in Denmark were identified in a nationwide register.

RESULTS:

A total of 39,741 patients were diagnosed with depressive disorder at least once; among these, 81% were diagnosed at the first contact. In approximately 56% of patients, the initial diagnosis of depressive disorder eventually changed during follow-up mainly to the schizophrenic spectrum (16%), but also to personality disorders (9%), neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (8%) and to bipolar disorder (8%). Among the 18% of patients who were later diagnosed with depressive disorder, 23% initially had a diagnosis of adjustment disorder.

CONCLUSIONS:

When the ICD-10 diagnoses are used in clinical practice, the diagnosis of depressive disorder has a low stability over time. These findings emphasize the need for a longitudinally based diagnostic process in the diagnostic systems.

PMID:
15714010
DOI:
10.1159/000083968
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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