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Short-term Symptom Change in Outpatient Psychiatric Disorders

James E. Barrett, MD; Michael W. Hurst, EdD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(7):849-854. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290070073014.
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• Changes in symptomatology (Hopkins Symptom Checklist scales) during a three- to four-week period were observed in a group of subjects (symptomatic volunteers) who had specific psychiatric disorders (Research Diagnostic Criteria [RDC]) and who were not currently receiving or awaiting treatment. Four of the depressive disorder categories and two of the anxiety disorder categories showed a significant drop in the primary symptomatology. There was a differential effect of diagnosis on the amount of this "spontaneous" symptom reduction; for the HSCL scales depression and panic-phobic anxiety, the RDC disorders with the highest initial levels of those symptoms (major depressive disorder; panic anxiety disorder, combined panicphobic anxiety disorder) showed the least reduction in that symptomatology.

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