….With its poor validity and reliability in DSM-IV, the Work Group also tackled the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis, Tandon said. To better differentiate between schizophrenia with mood disorder and schizoaffective disorder, DSM-5 requires a look at the entire course of illness, he explained. Specific mood symptoms must be present for the majority of the illness (at least 50% of the time) to achieve the schizoaffective diagnosis. As a result of this change, Tandon expects there will be less schizoaffective diagnoses and an increase in schizophrenia with major mood disorder. Clinically speaking, that means a change in treatment approach for most patients, he added, with mood stabilizers being used more precisely in these patients.
by Heidi Anne Duerr