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Diagnosis and outcome: depression and anxiety in a general population

  • Jane M. Murphy (a1), Donald C. Olivier (a1), Arthur M. Sobol (a1), Richard R. Monson (a1) and Alexander H. Leighton (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2011

An assessment of the long-term outcome for depression and anxiety disorders in a general population was made as part of the Stirling County Study. Measuring outcome as a dichotomy between experiencing recurrent episodes or not during a 17-year cohort interval, it was found that 56% of the ‘cases’ had a poor prognosis. While sex, age and level of severity were not significantly related to outcome, an initial diagnosis of depression was predictive of unfavourable prognosis. Only a few of these ‘cases’ received psychiatric specialty treatment. Some disorders in the community appear, however, to be as serious as those that come to the attention of psychiatrists.

Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr Jane M. Murphy, Harvard Program in Psychiatric Epidemiology, Department of Psychiatry, 703 Warren Building, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
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