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An epidemiological study of histrionic personality disorder

  • G. Nestadt (a1), A. J. Romanoski (a1), R. Chahal (a1), A. Merchant (a1), M. F. Folstein (a1), E. M. Gruenberg (a1) and P. R. McHugh (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2009

In conjunction with the Epidemiological Catchment Area (ECA) survey conducted in Baltimore, MD, a two-stage probability sample of community subjects was developed with a full psychiatric examination employing DSM-III criteria. This report details the observations on those subjects diagnosed with the DSM-III diagnosis Histrionic Personality Disorder. The results indicate that this condition can be diagnosed reliably and that it is a valid construct. It has a prevalence of 2·1 % in a general population. Males and females are equally affected, suggesting that prior reports of an increased prevalence in females was an expression of ascertainment bias found in hospital-based studies. The diagnosis is associated with clear evidence of disturbance in the emotional, behavioural, and social realms. Individuals with this disorder tend to use health care facilities more frequently than others.

Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr Gerald Nestadt, Department of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Meyer 228, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
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A. J. Romanoski , G. Nestadt , R. Chahal , A. Merchant , M. F. Folstein , E. M. Gruenberg & P. R. McHugh (1988). Inter-observer reliability of a ‘Standardized Psychiatric Examinaton (SPE)’ for case ascertainment (DSM-III). Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 176, 6371.

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