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The relevance of categorical and dimensional classification systems for the comparability of patient samples in psychopharmacological research of depression.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pharmacopsychiatry
Publication Date
Volume
19
Issue
1
Pages
43–47
Identifiers
PMID: 3960971
Source
Medline

Abstract

Operational diagnoses of endogenous depression have gained special importance for psychopharmacological research. The high reliability of operationally defined diagnoses is a prerequisite for sampling comparable patient group. The simultaneous application of competing categorical diagnostic system ("polydiagnosis") allows us to determine whether differences in research findings are due to differences in patient samplings. Furthermore, a dimensional classification of patients by means of a newly developed polydiagnostic scale (so called OPD scale) allows us to compare the diagnostic homogeneity of patient groups diagnosed as endogenous depression cases and to select extreme groups with high diagnostic homogeneity for comparing the distribution of variables under research in patients with endogenous and nonendogenous depression.

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