To the Editor.—
Marder et al (Archives 36:1080-1085, 1979) have evaluated prognostic indicators of drugfree improvement in patients with schizophrenic psychosis. Of the 22 patients in their study, all eight of those whose conditions improved During the drug-free interval (improvers) were diagnosed as having a schizoaffective disorder; of the rest (nonimprovers), eight had a schizoaffective disorder and six had other schizophrenic disorders. The authors state, without elaboration, that "this diagnostic difference was not statistically significant," and they resist the interpretation that they found, simply, that the conditions of schizoaffective patients were more likely to improve during a drug-free interval than the conditions of other schizophrenic patients.I congratulate the authors on the subtlety of their analysis; however, the frequencies involved are striking, and an attentive reader might wonder about the basis of their conclusion of "no significant difference." If one applies the uncorrected χ2 test to the frequencies of
Bryant RC. Schizoaffective Disorder and Drug-Free Improvement. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(2):231–232. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780270117018
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