a1 Institute of Psychiatry, London, and the University Department of Psychiatry, Liverpool
A consecutive series of 94 patients recently admitted to hospital from a defined catchment area and diagnosed as having a depressive illness were examined using standardized techniques for eliciting mental state, etc. The overlap between psychotic and neurotic diagnoses was 8·5% on discriminant function analysis of mental state items. A sub-sample of 71 patients was given a comprehensive postal and case record follow-up 5 years later. When patients developing organic and other complicating illnesses were excluded, those suffering from psychotic depression showed a significantly poorer outcome, as defined by relapse and required lengths of hospital care, than those diagnosed as suffering from neurotic depression.
c1 Address for correspondence: Professor J. R. M. Copeland, University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Liverpool Hospitla, Prescot Street, Liverpool 17 8XP.