The prognostic relevance of delusions in depression: A follow-up study

R. L. Kettering, M. Harrow, L. Grossman, H. Y. Meltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To determine whether delusional depression has a different clinical course from other types of depression, the authors followed up 31 unipolar delusional depressed patients, 28 unipolar nonpsychotic depressed patients, and 51 schizophrenic patients 14 months after hospital discharge. Patients were assessed on 1) overall outcome, 2) psychotic, anxiety-neurotic, and depressive symptoms, 3) social and work functioning, and 4) rehospitalization. The delusional depressed patients showed significantly more mood-incongruent delusions at follow-up. Surprisingly, the nonpsychotic depressed patients exhibited more depressed mood and significantly more anxiety at follow-up. The findings suggest that the diagnostic distinction between delusional and nonpsychotic depression is relevant to the clinical course of major depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1160
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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