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J Affect Disord. 1990 Oct;20(2):79-85.

Concordance of symptoms in recurrent depressive episodes.

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Department of Psychiatry, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612.


The presence or absence of 12 depressive symptoms was examined in 93 bipolar and 108 unipolar patients who had two discrete episodes of major depression over a 5-year period. For each symptom the concordance of its presence or absence across episodes was low. The agreement observed was largely that to be expected by chance. A substantial amount of concordance was obtained if differences in episode intensity (propensity to have symptoms) were taken into account. This suggests that although there may be factors related to depression which remain stable across episodes, symptom presentation is moderated by other factors, such as intensity, which vary from episode to episode.

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