May 1976

Reactive Psychoses and Schizophrenia With Good Prognosis

Author Affiliations

From the Institute of Psychiatric Demography, University of Aarhus, Denmark, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(5):571-576. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770050037005

• Cross-national studies have indicated that American psychiatrists diagnose schizophrenia more often than others. Clinical, genetic, and follow-up studies suggest that many patients diagnosed as having acute schizophrenia might be more appropriately diagnosed as having affective disorder.

Forty probands diagnosed in Aarhus, Denmark, as having reactive psychoses are compared with 28 probands diagnosed in St Louis as having schizophrenia with good prognosis. Clinical differences largely reflect diagnostic criteria, with the patients from the St Louis group frequently having diagnosable affective disorder. A smaller proportion, 39% of the patients from St Louis, could be considered for the diagnosis of reactive psychosis. This is additional evidence supporting the use of the diagnostic category, reactive psychoses. Patients ordinarily given the diagnoses acute schizophrenic episode and/or schizo-affective schizophrenia may be more appropriately diagnosed as having (1) affective disorder and (2) reactive psychoses.