Depressive symptoms and depressive diagnoses in a community population. Use of a new procedure for analysis of psychiatric classification.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A multivariate classification technique was used to examine whether depressive symptoms and symptoms frequently associated with depressive disorders would cluster into recognizable syndromes that parallel traditional DSM-III psychiatric diagnoses. An analysis was made of all respondents in the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) project of the Piedmont region of North Carolina who reported suffering from depressive symptoms (n = 406) at the second wave of the ECA study. The analysis identified five profiles of symptoms that adequately described the interrelationships of the symptoms as reported in the population. One profile included a set of symptoms nearly identical to the symptoms associated with the DSM-III classification of major depression. Other depressive syndromes emerged and included a premenstrual syndrome among younger women and a mixed anxiety/depression syndrome. The existence of these other depressive syndromes may explain the present discrepancy in the epidemiologic literature between a high prevalence of depressive symptoms and a low prevalence of traditional depressive diagnoses in community populations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blazer, D; Swartz, M; Woodbury, M; Manton, KG; Hughes, D; George, LK

Published Date

  • December 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1078 - 1084

PubMed ID

  • 3058087

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-990X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800360026004


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States