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February 1981

Psychiatric Diagnoses (Research Diagnostic Criteria) in Symptomatic Volunteers

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine. Dr Barrett is now Visiting Professor of Psychiatry and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(2):153-157. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780270039004

• Symptomatic volunteers (SVs) are increasingly used as subjects for clinical research studies. A total of 362 SVs were recruited, psychiatric diagnoses were made according to Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC), and standard symptom scale scores on the Hopkins Symptom Check list (HSCL) for the individual diagnostic categories were computed. Of these subjects, 221 were classified as having a depressive disorder (three categories), 112 as having an anxiety disorder (three categories), and 29 as having some other RDC disorder. The HSCL scale scores for the depressive- and anxiety-disorder subject groups were consistent with those for actual patient groups. There were significant differences in HSCL scale scores for some RDC categories within the broader depressive- or anxietydisorder groupings. Individual RDC categories should be kept separate in reporting treatment results for depressive or anxiety disorders.

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