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Problems in Reporting Psychiatric Disorders Among Homeless Adults-Reply

William R. Breakey, MD; Pamela J. Fischer, PhD; Gerald Nestadt, MD; Alan Romanoski, MD; Richard Royall, PhD; Alan Ross, PhD
JAMA. 1990;263(6):811. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440060050018.
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In Reply.—  Drs Winkleby and Fischetti draw attention to potential problems in the public interpretation of scientific data. Our report presented an overview of a complex data set and was not intended to be a complete analysis. It was written for a medical audience, and it is a cause of concern to us, too, that our data can be misinterpreted in the public media, where, for example, reports may fail to distinguish major mental illnesses from the broad spectrum of Axis I disorders. In fact, although our prevalence rates of Axis I disorders as a whole are very high, those for major mental illness do not diverge substantially from rates reported by other investigators.1 Where our study differed from others was that subjects were examined by psychiatrists, so that a wider range of psychopathology was detected than is possible using structured interview instruments.The question of "severity" of


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