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March 1991

Distinguishing Between Content and Form of Speech-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Brockton VA Medical Center Psychiatry (116A) 940 Belmont St Brockton, MA 02401
Department of Psychology Harvard University 33 Kirkland St Cambridge, MA 02138
Department of Psychiatry New York University Medical Center 550 First Ave New York, NY 10016
Mailman Research Center McLean Hospital 115 Mill St Belmont, MA 02178

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(3):281-282. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810270093018

In Reply.—  Dr Berenbaum cites a difference between our study1 and his.2 We are not the first to find an aggregation of thought disorder in the relatives of psychotic patients.3-6 We believe that at least three requirements should be met if one seeks to determine whether thought disorder is present in clinically normal members of families in which there is a psychotic patient. First, evaluating personnel must be well trained and experienced with the instrument in use. Second, the instrument used must be able to detect not only severe instances of thought disorder, present in psychotic populations, but also mild instances of thought slippage, since thought disorder in nonpsychotic relatives tends to be muted. Third, categories of formal thought disorder that occur infrequently in the normal population, but frequently in pathological populations, must be determined. These disorders may occur in relatives of psychotic patients.The study by Berenbaum et al

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