The prognostic validity of DSM-III axis IV in depressed inpatients

Am J Psychiatry. 1987 Jan;144(1):102-6. doi: 10.1176/ajp.144.1.102.


DSM-III suggests that axis IV should have prognostic value--that patients with higher scores will have a better outcome than patients with low ratings. The authors used axis IV to assign scores to 130 depressed inpatients and examined these scores in association with the patients' course during the index hospitalization and at 6-month prospective follow-up. Higher axis IV scores were associated with more depressive symptoms on hospital discharge, but they did not predict follow-up outcome. These results are consistent with other studies of the prognostic value of ratings of psychosocial stress and indicate that, at least for depression, there is little empirical support for DSM-III's suggestion that stress is a favorable prognostic sign.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Manuals as Topic / standards*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Readmission
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales