Difficulties in Diagnosing Schizoaffective Disorder

This limited-scope literature review focuses on the difficulties of diagnosing schizoaffective disorder. The difficulties are predominantly manifest in differentiating schizoaffective disorder from schizophrenia and mood disorders. The history of schizoaffective diagnosis is first reviewed. The literature reviewed reflects a wide range of conclusions regarding the diagnosis and differentiation of schizoaffective disorder, including conclusions challenging the value in having a diagnostic category of schizoaffective disorder. The articles do little to clarify how schizoaffective disorder can be reliably diagnosed. However, the articles also indicate that the differential diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder requires an especially thorough examination current symptoms, as well as historical and longitudinal information. Therefore, while the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder appears very ethereal, the diagnostic process itself has significant value.

David L. Grande
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