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June 1972

Concordance Between Clinical Assessments and Patients' Self-Report in Depression

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn; Boston; New Haven, Conn
From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn (Mrs. Prusoff and Dr. Paykel) and Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Dr. Klerman). Dr. Paykel is now with St. George's Hospital, London.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;26(6):546-552. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750240058009

In a survey of 200 depressed patients, clinical symptoms of depression were assessed by both semistructured clinical interview and self-report. Both instruments were given during the acute episode and at follow-up, ten months later, when a majority of patients had recovered. Results indicate concordance between clinical assessment and self-report is low during the acute episode but generally improved at follow-up. Ratings of individual symptoms show a fair degree of specificity. The overall assessment of severity during the acute episode is particularly discordant. These findings demonstrate that self-reports are useful in measuring the presence or absence of symptoms and therefore valuable in assessing recovery. However, self-report ratings from acutely depressed patients are not a reliable estimate of the severity of their symptoms.

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