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Comorbidity, consanguinity and co-occurrence

  • Peter Tyrer
Summary

The adjective ‘comorbid’, and its fellow noun ‘comorbidity’, are used repeatedly in psychiatric practice, but we frequently use them sloppily and ignore what they really mean. Here, I briefly define comorbidity of disorders, and suggest the alternative categories of consanguinity and co-occurrence.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence Professor Peter Tyrer, Imperial College, 7th Floor, Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 0NN, UK. Email: p.tyrer@imperial.ac.uk
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Declaration of Interest

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References
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American Psychiatric Association (1980) DSM-III: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn). APA.
Barrowclough, C, Haddock, G, Wykes, T, et al (2010) Integrated motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy for people with comorbid psychosis and substance misuse: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 341: c6325.
Das-Munshi, J, Goldberg, D, Bebbington, PE, et al (2008) Public health significance of mixed anxiety and depression: beyond current classification. British Journal of Psychiatry, 192: 171–7.
Feinstein, AR (1970) The pre-therapeutic classification of comorbidity in chronic disease. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 23: 455–68.
Tyrer, P (1996) Comorbidity or consanguinity. British Journal of Psychiatry, 168: 669–71.
Tyrer, P, Reed, GM, Crawford, MJ (2015) Classification, assessment, prevalence and effect of personality disorder. Lancet, 385: 717–26.
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 2056-4678
  • EISSN: 2056-4686
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Comorbidity, consanguinity and co-occurrence

  • Peter Tyrer
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