April 1979

Newer Experimental Methods for Classifying DepressionA Report from the NIMH Collaborative Pilot Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(4):447-452. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780040089010

• A total of 83 patients receiving diagnoses of major depressive disorder in the pilot phase of the National Institute of Mental Health Collaborative Study of the Psychobiology of Depression were used to evaluate two newer methods of classifying depressive disorders on the basis of family history or course. A third subtype based on family history, nonfamilial depression, was compared with the two subtypes originally proposed by Winokur and colleagues, pure depression and depression spectrum disease. The system for classifying depressions on the basis of course and antecedent disorder, primary vs secondary depression, was also compared. These data from the pilot study indicate that two newer systems for classification have some predictive, construct, and content validity, but both are in need of further investigation before they become accepted methods for the classification of depressive disorders.