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March 1974

Mixed Anxiety-Depression: Fact or Myth?

Author Affiliations

From the Psychopharmacology Research Unit, Philadelphia General Hospital, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(3):312-317. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760090030005

This study is concerned with factors affecting the type of psychotropic medication prescribed for neurotic outpatients with a diagnosis of "mixed anxiety-depression." The sample includes 122 patients assigned to clinical trials with anxiolytics (anxiety study group) and 149 patients assigned to trials with antidepressants (depression study group).

Anxiety and depression dominated the symptom profiles of all patients, but in anxiety study patients anxiety was the more severe of the two symptoms, while in depression study patients depression was the more severe. For physician measures, depression differed more sharply across groups; for patient measures anxiety made the greater contribution to between-group differences.

Multivariate analyses revealed configurational group differences involving anxiety, depression, and insomnia and indicated that information concerning previous treatment response played an additional role in treatment assignment.

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