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The Detection and Measurement of Catatonia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Niraj Ahuja


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Catatonia is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome that occurs with primary psychiatric disorders or secondary to general medical conditions. Catatonia is often neglected when screening and examining psychiatric patients. Undiagnosed catatonia can increase morbidity and mortality, illustrating the need to effectively screen patients for presence of catatonia as well as their response to treatment. There are many barriers to the diagnosis of catatonia that may explain the low rates of diagnosis in modern psychiatry. This article will review the many barriers that exist in the detection, recognition, and diagnosis of catatonia. Various criteria and rating scales have been applied to catatonia. The lack of precise definitions and validity of catatonia has hindered the detection of catatonia, thus delaying diagnosis and appropriate treatment. This review article will illustrate the need for a new rating scale to screen and detect catatonia as it occurs in a variety of healthcare settings. This article will also review the characteristics such a scale should possess to produce a quality instrument to aid in the appropriate care of the catatonic patient.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirkhart R, Ahuja N, Lee JWY, Ramirez J, Talbert R, Faiz K, Ungvari GS, Thomas C, Carroll BT

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychiatry (Edgemont)

Year: 2007

Volume: 4

Issue: 9

Pages: 52-56

ISSN (print): 1550-5952

ISSN (electronic): 1555-5194