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Angst, J; Gamma, A; Pezawas, L; Ajdacic-Gross, V; Eich, D; Rössler, W; Altamura, C (2007). Parsing the clinical phenotype of depression: the need to integrate brief depressive episodes. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 115(3):221-228.

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OBJECTIVE: To expand the concept of recurrent brief depression (RBD) to brief depression (BD) and to test its clinical relevance. METHOD: Subjects (N = 591) were studied prospectively six times from ages 20/21 to 40/41 years. RBD was defined according to DSM-IV as episodes under 2 weeks with about monthly recurrence and work impairment. BD embraces RBD and brief depressive episodes with a frequency of 1-11 per year. RESULTS: Pure BD and pure major depressive episodes (MDE) did not differ in treatment rates, family history of mood and anxiety disorders or comorbidity with bipolar spectrum and anxiety disorders but they differed in work impairment, suicide attempt rates and distress self-ratings. The combination of BD + MDE identified a very severe group of MDE, comparable with combined depression (MDE + RBD) and double depression (MDE + dysthymia). CONCLUSION: Our data argue for the use of BD as a diagnostic specifier for severe MDE. RBD remains an important independent subgroup.


9 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adult Depressive Disorder, Major/*diagnosis/epidemiology/*psychology Diagnosis, Differential Female Humans Incidence Male Periodicity *Phenotype Prevalence Prospective Studies Questionnaires Switzerland/epidemiology Time Factors
Deposited On:28 Sep 2011 07:46
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:01
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2006.00893.x
PubMed ID:17302622

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