Strategies for making an accurate differential diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 71 Suppl 2:4 (2010) PMID 21190646

To make an accurate differential diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, clinicians can carefully gather information from patients and other informants, consider the information within a conceptual diagnostic framework, differentiate between schizoaffective disorder and other disorders, and reevaluate the diagnosis over time. Making an accurate diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder can be difficult because patients may remember insufficient detail of symptoms including their duration and overlap. Clinicians should realize that the diagnostic stability and interrater reliability of schizoaffective disorder are low. An accurate history of patients' signs and symptoms and their course and duration is essential to making a diagnosis. Careful documentation of symptoms and recording of the basis for diagnosis are crucial so that the diagnosis can be reevaluated over time. © Copyright 2010 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

DOI: 10.4088/JCP.9096su1cc.01