The authors examine the validity of subtyping psychotic depression by
comparing 111 patients with schizoaffective, unipolar, and bipolar
psychotic depression on demographic characteristics and symptoms at index
episode. Diagnoses were made by using Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC).
The three groups were indistinguishable in sex, race, and age at onset.
Schizoaffective patients had more "schizophrenic" symptoms but were not
different in depressive delusions, other psychotic symptoms, or affective
symptoms. However, bipolar patients scored significantly higher than
nonbipolar patients on hypomania. There is little support in these data for
the schizoaffective versus nonschizoaffective distinction. Further tests
are needed, including tests of response to treatment and biological