Temporal stability of symptom patterns in depression.
E S Paykel, B A Prusoff, J Tanner


Temporal stability of symptom patterns was examined in 33 depressives studied initially at the height of illness and again some months later in a relapse following earlier recovery. Relapse symptoms were significantly less severe at the time of rating, and initial and relapse severity were not significantly related. Neverthless there were significant correlations between initial and relapse scores on two factors orthogonal to severity. One of these reflected symptom patterns important to the endogenous-neurotic distinction, the other a contrast between depression and anxiety. These findings indicate some consistency in symptom patterns in successive episodes of depression, and thereby support the value of clinical classifications depending on symptom patterns.