Diagnosis and outcome: depression and anxiety in a general population

Psychol Med. 1986 Feb;16(1):117-26. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700057809.


An assessment of the long-term outcome for depression and anxiety disorders in a general population was made as part of the Stirling County Study. Measuring outcome as a dichotomy between experiencing recurrent episodes or not during a 17-year cohort interval, it was found that 56% of the 'cases' had a poor prognosis. While sex, age and level of severity were not significantly related to outcome, an initial diagnosis of depression was predictive of unfavourable prognosis. Only a few of these 'cases' received psychiatric specialty treatment. Some disorders in the community appear, however, to be as serious as those that come to the attention of psychiatrists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Software