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Schizoaffective disorder – the reliability of its clinical diagnostic use

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Vollmer-Larsen A, Jacobsen TB, Hemmingsen R, Parnas J. Schizoaffective disorder – the reliability of its clinical diagnostic use. Objective: 

Patients with psychoses often suffer from affective symptoms. The originally broad concept of schizoaffective disorder (SAD) has been significantly narrowed, transformed into a convoluted set of criteria both in the ICD-10 and DSM-IV. We examined the reliability of the clinical use of this diagnosis in university settings. Method: 

All patients discharged from two university hospitals in Copenhagen in year 2002 with a diagnosis of ICD-10 SAD (n = 59) were re-evaluated using the Operational Criteria (OPCRIT) checklist expanded by additional items and applied to hospital chart material. Diagnoses were allocated by OPCRIT algorithm and by consensus of two psychiatrists. Results: 

No patients fulfilled the SAD lifetime diagnosis according to DSM-IV criteria and the raters diagnosed only six patients as possible ICD-10 SAD. Conclusion: 

A moratorium on the clinical use of the SAD diagnosis is suggested.

Keywords: DSM-IV; ICD-10; reliability; schizoaffective disorder

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University Department of Psychiatry, Hvidovre Hospital, and Centre for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen 2: University Department of Psychiatry, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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