10003544 J Clin Psychiatry / Document Archive

Psychiatrist.com Home    Keyword Search

Close [X]

Search Our Sites

Enter search terms below (keywords, titles, authors, or subjects). Then select a category to search and press the Search button. All words are assumed to be required. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. To exclude a term, precede it with a minus sign (-).

Keyword search:

Choose a category:

Choosing the appropriate category will greatly improve your chances of finding the best match.

All files at our sites: J Clin Psychiatry, Primary Care Companion, CME Institute, and MedFair

Search materials from our journals:

Abstracts from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements

PDFs of the full text of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements (Net Society Platinum [paid subscribers])

PDFs of the full text of The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1999–present

Search CME offerings:

CME Institute, including CME from journals , supplements, and Web activities for instant CME credit (Net Society Gold [registered users]); also includes information about our CME program

CME activities from regular issues of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])

CME Supplements from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])


The article you requested is

Missed Diagnosis of Psychotic Depression at 4 Academic Medical Centers

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69:1293-1296
Copyright 2008 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

To view this item, select one of the options below.

    1. Purchase this PDF for $40
      If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
      (You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
    2. Subscribe
      Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP print + online for $166 individual.
      JCP's 75th AnniversaryCelebrate!
      Celebrate JCP's 75th Anniversary with a special online-only subscription price of $75.
    1. Activate
      If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
    2. Sign in
      As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
  1. Did you forget your password?

Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send an email


Background: Major depressive disorder with psychotic features (psychotic depression), though occurring relatively frequently in the general population, is a commonly missed psychiatric diagnosis.

Objective: To ascertain accuracy of diagnosis of psychotic depression among inpatients at 4 academic medical centers and explore whether presenting symptoms, treatment setting, and physician's level of training affect the accuracy of diagnosis.

Method: The medical records of 65 patients who met DSM-IV criteria for psychotic depression following systematic assessment were analyzed to ascertain the concordance between chart diagnoses and research diagnoses arrived at using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. The patients were participants in the National Institute of Mental Health Study of Pharmacotherapy of Psychotic Depression, conducted from December 28, 2002, through June 18, 2004, at 4 academic medical centers. For each patient's hospital visit, separate standardized data forms were completed on the basis of each physician's assessment of the patient prior to screening for the study. Hospital records from the emergency room and from admission to psychiatric units were reviewed. Among these 65 patients, 130 chart diagnoses had been made.

Results: Psychotic depression had not been diagnosed prior to research assessments for 27% of the 130 diagnoses in our sample. The 3 most common diagnoses assigned to patients meeting research criteria for psychotic depression were major depressive disorder without psychotic features, depression not otherwise specified, and mood disorder not otherwise specified. Failure to identify psychotic depression was more likely when symptoms of depressed mood, hallucinations, or delusions were not noted in the medical record (all p < .005). The accuracy of diagnoses was greater on inpatient units than in emergency rooms (chi2 = 7.64, p < .01).

Conclusion: The diagnosis of psychotic depression is frequently missed in emergency room and inpatient settings. The findings of this study are sobering given the serious morbidity and mortality of psychotic depression and the implications for treatment if an inaccurate diagnosis is made.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00056472