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DSM-III Schizophreniform Disorder

Miriam Gibbon, MSW; Robert L. Spitzer, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(11):1255-1256. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790100101016.
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To the Editor.—  In the January 1982 issue of the Archives, Coryell and Tsuang described a study designed to test the validity of the DSM-III category of schizophreniform disorder (1982;39:66-69). We were puzzled to read that included in the group of 93 patients with schizophreniform disorder were 20 who "... had durations of six months or longer; the prodromes in these 20 cases, however, lacked the features required by DSM-III criteria for schizophrenia." The DSM-III criteria for schizophrenia, in fact, do not require a prodrome, as frequently the information to document this expected feature of the illness is not present. The duration criterion reads, "The six month period must include an active phase during which there were symptoms from A, with or without [italics ours] a prodromal or residual phase.... " The correct DSM-III diagnosis of the 20 cases with durations of six months or longer, therefore, would seem to be schizophrenia


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