Background: The advent of managed care has necessitated strategies for quic
kly and accurately diagnosing psychiatric disorders. The aim of the present
study was to ascertain whether the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Anchored
(BPRS-A) would be a useful adjunct to more traditional diagnostic strategi
es at acute inpatient admission.
Method: Using a sample of 207 inpatients admitted during an S-month index p
eriod, we examined the utility of the BPRS-A in predicting whether patients
were more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. or
major depression (DSM-IV).
Results: Discriminant function analyses were used to correctly predict 68%.
60%, and 71% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, a
nd major depression, respectively. The main predictors of diagnostic catego
ry, in descending order, were BPRS-A depressed mood item, BPRS-A positive s
ymptoms scale, BPRS-A excitement item, BPRS-A guilt feelings item, BPRS-A m
annerisms and posturing item, and number of previous episodes.
Conclusion: As efforts are directed toward continuous quality improvement w
ithin mental health settings, an emphasis must be placed on improving the e
fficiency and accuracy of diagnostic procedures. The BPRS-A shows promise a
s a time-efficient assessment instrument that may be useful in facilitating
differential diagnosis at inpatient admission and may increase the likelih
ood that efficacious prerelease interventions and appropriate aftercare ser
vices are implemented.