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Am J Psychiatry 1943;100:159-169.
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The Department of Diseases of the Nervous System, Harvard Medical School and the Psychiatric Department, Massachusetts General Hospital.

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1. A rapid method of scoring irregularity in the spirogram tracing is described. This method makes use of 7 variables which are added to obtain a numerical score.2. A series of tracings obtained from 50 anxiety neuroses, 40 hysterias and 10 reactive depressions, 60 schizophrenic patients and 103 normal control subjects were scored.3. The highest mean score was found for the anxiety group and the lowest mean scores were found for the schizophrenic and normal groups. The mean values of hysterias and reactive depressions fall between the extremes. Statistically valid differences were found on comparing the anxiety group with the schizophrenic and with the normal control group.4. The incidence of sighing respirations was 60% for the anxiety group, 54% for the group of hysterias and reactive depressions, 37% for the schizophrenic patients and 21% for the normal control subjects.5. The mean value for sighing respiration was significantly greater for the anxiety neuroses when compared with the schizophrenic and normal controls.6. Major fluctuations (large waves in the tracings) were found significantly greater for the anxiety neuroses than for schizophrenic and normal controls.7. The schizophrenic group showed very little difference from the normal control subjects for all of the variables studied with the exception of points off the upper line. In this item the schizophrenic group had a lower mean value, which was statistically significant.

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