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July 27, 1963

Computer Used to Prescribe Psychiatric Drugs

JAMA. 1963;185(4):28. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060040006003

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An IBM-1620 digital computer may make it possible to increase the over-all effectiveness of psychiatric drug treatment by as much as 50%, according to John E. Overall, PhD, of Kansas State University in Manhattan, and Dr. Leo E. Hollister of Palo Alto, Calif. Speaking at the AMA Annual Meeting, they described a current study in which patients are assigned to drugs according to the recommendation of a computer.

Previous efforts investigating the usefulness of computer techniques in the "complex"area of psychiatric diagnosis and classification resulted in four different quantitative classification procedures programmed for computer use.

"In general terms, these procedures result in the computer accepting the objective symptom rating profile for an individual patient, assessing its degree of similarity to prototype profiles for 13 functional psychotic classes, and assigning the patient to the class for which his individual profile has greatest similarity," Overall said.

Since it was felt that these

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