Letters

Recognition of depression and anxiety in primary care

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7204.254b (Published 24 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:254

General practitioners in study seemed to agree with commentary writer

  1. Allan House, Senior lecturer in psychiatry
  1. Division of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences in Relation to Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9LT
  2. Institute of General Practice, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter EX2 5DW
  3. Department of Mental Health, University of Exeter, Wonford House Hospital, Exeter EX2 5AF
  4. Division of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff CF4 4XN

    EDITOR—Kessler et al assessed the ability of general practitioners to diagnose depression and anxiety as defined by the general health questionnaire (GHQ-12).1 Unfortunately, they have miscalculated their results; from their data, the general practitioners had a sensitivity of 36% and a specificity of 91%.

    These figures suggest that the participating general practitioners—at least in their day to day practice—shared Heath's opinion in her commentary.1 Most patients with a score >3 on the general health questionnaire do not have a diagnosable psychiatric condition.

    References

    1. 1.

    Authors' reply

    1. David Kessler, Honorary research fellow,
    2. Denis Pereira Gray, Professor of general practice,
    3. Keith Lloyd, Senior lecturer,
    4. Glyn Lewis, Professor of community and epidemiological psychiatry
    1. Division of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences in Relation to Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9LT
    2. Institute of General Practice, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter EX2 5DW
    3. Department of Mental Health, University of Exeter, Wonford House Hospital, Exeter EX2 5AF
    4. Division of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff CF4 4XN

      EDITOR—Our paper had a hostile commentary from Heath. She ignored the substance …

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