[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 1979

Comparative Evaluation of Research Diagnostic Criteria for Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Medical School (Dr Overall), Houston, and the Research Service, Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr Hollister), Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(11):1198-1205. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780110052006

• Criteria for establishing a diagnosis of schizophrenia have been proposed by several different authors. This study compared six different research diagnostic criteria (RDC) in a series of 166 patients who received a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia in a multicenter study. The alternative criteria differed in the proportion of clinical diagnoses that were confirmed, with the Washington University (Feighner) criteria accepting only 26%. The criteria also disagreed concerning which particular patients qualified for the diagnosis. The Washington University and New York RDC disagreed 50% of the time, and some other disagreement rates were even higher. More evaluative research is needed before arbitrary criteria are permitted to redefine the concept of schizophrenia.