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Schizoaffective Disorder and Drug-Free Improvement-Reply

Stephen R. Marder, MD; Daniel P. Van Kammen, MD, PHD; John P. Docherty, MD; William E. Bunney JR, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(2):232-233. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780270118019.
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In Reply.—  Dr Bryant is quite correct in pointing out that the relationship between schizoaffective disorders by Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC)' and drug-free improvement after drug withdrawal comes very close to being statistically significant. It would be tempting to conclude that the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder discriminates between the two patient groups. However, we believe strongly that one should adhere to the internationally agreed on limits of statistical significance that define any probability larger than 5% (.1 > P >.05) as statistically not significant.Drug-free improvers and nonimprovers differed in several measures, RDC criteria being among them. The diagnostic subcategory certainly appears to be a rather weak predictor since the majority of nonimprovers also were schizoaffective according to these criteria. The data suggest that the schizoaffective diagnosis is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for improvement after drug withdrawal. This should be qualified because the version of the RDC that was used

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