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Impact of psychiatric disturbance on identifying psychiatric disorder in relatives: study of mothers and daughters

  • Helen F. Coelho (a1), Peter J. Cooper (a1) and Lynne Murray (a1)

Summary

Previous studies have suggested that collecting psychiatric data on relatives in family studies by asking probands to provide information on them leads to a bias in estimates of morbidity risk, because probands' accounts are influenced by their own psychiatric histories. We investigated this in a UK sample and found that daughters' anxiety disorder histories did not influence their reports of anxiety disorder in mothers, but their history of mood disorder/alcohol dependence made them more sensitive in predicting mood disorder/alcohol dependence in mothers.

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Corresponding author

Professor Peter J. Cooper, Winnicott Research Unit, School of Psychology, University of Reading, 3 Earley Gate, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AL, UK. E-mail p.j.cooper@rdg.ac.uk

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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

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References

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Chapman, T. F., Mannuzza, S., Klein, D. F., et al (1994) Effects of informant mental disorder on psychiatric family history data. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 574579.
Endicott, J., Andreasen, N. & Spitzer, R. L. (1975) Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria. New York: Biometrics Research Division, New York State Psychiatric Institute.
First, M. B., Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., et al (1995) Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV Axis 1 Disorders (SCID–I). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
Heun, R., Maier, W. & Müller, H. (1997) Subject and informant variables affecting family history diagnoses of depression and dementia. Psychiatry Research, 71, 175180.
Kendler, K. S. (1991) Regarding the use and accuracy of the family history method (reply). American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 1123.
Kendler, K. S., Silberg, J. L., Neale, M. C., et al (1991) The family history method: whose psychiatric history is measured? American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 15011504.
Kendler, K. S., Davis, C. G. & Kessler, R. C. (1997) The familial aggregation of common psychiatric and substance use disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey: a family history study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 170, 541548.
Roy, M. A., Walsh, D., Prescott, C. A., et al (1994) Biases in the diagnosis of alcoholism by the family history method. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 18, 845851.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Impact of psychiatric disturbance on identifying psychiatric disorder in relatives: study of mothers and daughters

  • Helen F. Coelho (a1), Peter J. Cooper (a1) and Lynne Murray (a1)
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